University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


News Bureau . Schofield Hall 201 . Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900

First Fridays Program to Feature
Oral Histories of World War II

 MAILED:  Oct. 23, 2003

EAU CLAIRE — “Oral History Project: Memories of World War II” will be the subject of the Nov. 7 First Fridays colloquium for senior citizens. A free continental breakfast will precede the formal program. Doors open for breakfast at 8:30 a.m., and the program begins at 9 a.m. in the Memorial Lounge at Christ Church Cathedral (corner of Lake and Farwell in downtown Eau Claire).

Lois Taft, a UW-Eau Claire associate professor of nursing and expert in quality of life issues for the elderly, recently led a research project in oral history which she described “as part of an effort to examine the benefits of reminiscence on mental health in old age and to identify interventions that enhance the lives of older adults.”

“Reminiscing is therapeutic for older people,” Taft said, noting she chose World War II as a topic because it was so significant to the lives of the current elderly population. “Oral history interviews stimulate reminiscence, preserve history and link generations.”

Following Taft’s PowerPoint presentation about the project, she will be joined in the discussion by Jennifer Platt, a senior nursing student who has been involved in the project since its inception, and 82-year-old Eau Claire poet Norma Desprez who participated in the research project. A question-and-answer period will follow.

The monthly program is a joint project of UW-Eau Claire’s Activities and Programs office and Christ Church Cathedral, with funding support from the Downtown Eau Claire Business Improvement District and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation Community Outreach Program for the Arts. The mission of First Fridays is to provide no-cost entertainment and educational experiences for senior citizens of the Chippewa Valley through shared community and university sponsorship.

First Fridays programs occur on the first Friday of each month October through May, with the exception of January, at no cost to the senior community. In addition to concerts, planned programs include presentations on the history of public radio in Wisconsin, Shakespeare and his plays, and the Dead Sea scrolls.

For more information about First Fridays, or to be placed on a mailing list, call (715) 836-2787 (ARTS).


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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741

Updated: October 17, 2003