John Kelly '13, Grady MacPhee '13 and Nick Merrill '13 recently traveled to London with faculty member Alec Coyle, Chairman of the History and Social Sciences Department, to attend the 28th International Churchill Conference, which examines the leadership and legacy of Sir Winston Churchill.
“The focus of this year's conference was the ‘Special Relationship,’” said Coyle. “While the diplomatic, intelligence, defense and cultural ties across the Atlantic were naturally a point of focus, Churchill's personal relationship with the US was also discussed. The state of the alliance between the US and UK are always a subject of worry on both sides of the Atlantic, but the participants pointed out that it is fundamentally sound and healthy.
“The conference was a great opportunity for the students and me to immerse ourselves in both a high-level academic and policy-making discussion of Churchill's legacy today and an examination of the man. The students met and networked with many persons of renown and we were able to meet some of the great historians and thinkers in the fields of Churchill’s life and legacy as well as twentieth and twenty-first century political, diplomatic and military history.”
The Churchillian of the Year Awards were given to President Nicholas Sarkozy of France (accepted by the French ambassador) and to Her Majesty's Armed Forces (accepted by the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff).
In addition to the conference, the group had the opportunity to partake in a whirlwind of sightseeing, visiting such sites as Westminster Abbey, Cabinet War Rooms, Windsor Castle, Blenheim Palace, 10 Downing Street, Tower Bridge, and the British Museum.
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