It’s Veteran’s Day 2016, and a group of Bucknell faculty
and students are preparing to meet at Brasserie Louis on
Lewisburg’s Market Street. They’ll be plotting a journey
to the fields of Flanders and other battlefields in Belgium
and northern France where so many fell — 8. 5 million
on all fronts — and still remain. Victims of the Great
War, 1914–18. In two years, it will be 100 years since the
Armistice with Germany — that 11th hour of the 11th day
of the 11th month of 1918.
By then, the team led by Professor David Del Testa,
history, with the help of Professor Adrian Mulligan,
geography, and student researchers Amy Collins ’ 18,
Anthony Paolella ’ 18, Julia Carita ’ 20 and Julia Stevens
’ 20, will have been to Europe and back with rich Bucknell-
related stories to share. Bucknell Magazine editor Sherri
Kimmel will be along to report on the excursion for
a future issue, and Dante Fresse ’ 18 will film a short
This May, the group will spend 10 days in France
and Belgium, recreating the experiences of a select few
Bucknellians — many of whom were the same age as
today’s student researchers a century ago, when they
fought and, in some cases, died. Each team member chose
a Bucknell graduate to research and eventually chronicle
for a chapter in a short book.
Their selection processes varied. Julia Carita chose
Thomas Agnew, Class of 1920, she says, “because he
served in the ambulance corps. He also won a French
Croix de Guerre with a Bronze Star for bravery.”
Mulligan matched with a pilot, Joseph William
Aleshoukas, Class of 1915. “His unit saw combat but
was also involved in a lot of reconnaissance and mapping,
which is something I’m especially interested in, as a
geographer,” he says.
Julia Stevens was drawn to Katherine Baker, Class of
1892. “Women generally did not get enough recognition
for their efforts,” but part of a French orphanage is named
for her, she says.
Del Testa, who teaches courses on World War II and
the Vietnam War, was drawn to the topic after Isabella
O’Neill, University archivist, described some items in her
care related to Bucknell’s involvement in World War I.
In 2013, Del Testa began building the Bucknellians in
WWI database, which now contains 715 men and women
who served overseas or at home in the military, ambulance
corps or strategic government service. Of that number,
35 died as a result of their participation in the war. “I
realized that the sheer commitment of Bucknellians to
the war made researching it an interesting prospect, and
I also knew that the project would attract undergraduate
research interest as well,” he says.
Two students stepped forward in 2014, supported by
the Presidential Fellows Program. Since then, two other
presidential fellows and a Dalal fellow, funded by The
Dalal Family Fund for Creativity and Innovation, have
worked on the database, filling in vital missing data.
The database already is being used by Del Testa’s History
100 students, and a condensed version will be available
to the public.
Del Testa, who expects the project will continue until
the 100th anniversary of Armistice, welcomes input
from anyone who has information or memorabilia related
to Bucknellians involved in the war. Some alumni have
already contributed chilling journal entries by ancestors
who witnessed mass disease and death.
Collins, now in her third year with the project, says, “I’ve
become a better student, historian and person because
of this research opportunity, and it’s changed the way I
see the world. World War I was especially significant to
the U.S. because that was what inevitably made us a great
power on the world stage.”
Check out photos from the archives, firsthand accounts from
alumni who served in the war and the full list of alumni who
will be the subject of the team’s research in the Bucknell Magazine
app and at bucknell.edu/WWI-archives.
History research team travels to document
Bucknell’s contribution to World War I
By Sherri Kimmel
ARMS to CALL A