SJC and Patchogue-Medford Library Partner for WWI Program

October 30, 2017

Patchogue, N.Y. – October 30, 2017 – The Callahan Library at St. Joseph’s College (SJC) and the Patchogue-Medford Library will host “Soldier’s Home,” part of the “World War I and America” initiative, on Wednesday, November 8 at 7 p.m. at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts in Patchogue, N.Y.

This program is part of  “World War I and America,” a two-year national initiative of The Library of America presented in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and several other organizations, with generous support from The National Endowment for the Humanities. The goal of this initiative is to bring veterans, their families and the general public together to examine the war's impact on our country using literature written by those who experienced it first-hand.

Throughout 2016-2017, the two libraries partnered on a grant from The Library of America to support reading-and-discussion-based public programming in commemoration of the centennial of United States' entry into the First World War. This event will also be part of the Theatre’s Live in the Lobby series for fall 2017.

“We are excited to bring together scholars, veterans, students and the community to reflect on the importance of the First World War during its centennial year,” said Elizabeth Pollicino Murphy, executive director of libraries at SJC. “There is no better starting point for sharing reflections than by reading the words written by those who were there and relating their century-old experiences with those of our present-day veterans. The location of the beautifully restored Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts is an appropriate setting since the lobby looks the way it did when it opened in 1923. Many veterans of the First World War no doubt visited this theatre in the years following their military service. It is a tribute to their sacrifice to gather and remember them in this location.”

The November 8 event will include Dr. Judith Phagan, associate professor and chair of the Department of English at SJC, who will read and discuss Ernest Hemingway's short story “Soldier's Home” as it details the experiences of a young marine who returns home after having served in France. Dr. Steven Fuchs, professor of history at SJC, will moderate a panel of local veterans who will share various aspects of their return home after separation from military service. A discussion with audience participation will follow.

During the month of November, an exhibit of relics entitled “The Great War Through Women’s Eyes” will be on display at the Callahan Library at St. Joseph’s College in conjunction with “Soldier’s Home.”

“The exhibit includes imagery of women in WWI posters, as well as letters, photos and postcards that women received from soldiers stationed at Camp Upton (the Long Island training camp that many men went through on their way to France),” said Diane Holliday, reference librarian and archivist at SJC. “Also on display will be items soldiers sent home to their loved ones including silk pillows, postcards, handkerchiefs and trench art made from battlefield relics.”

The November 8 event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and registration is required. Register with the Patchogue Theatre Box Office by emailing [email protected] or calling 631.207.1313.


St. Joseph’s College has been dedicated to providing a diverse population of students in the New York metropolitan area with an affordable education rooted in the liberal arts tradition since 1916. Independent and coeducational, the College provides a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, aiming to prepare each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility and service. Through SJC Brooklyn, SJC Long Island and SJC Online, the College offers degrees in 50 majors, special course offerings and certificates, affiliated and pre-professional programs.