Veterans Invited to Reading and Discussion Series at Humanities Center


Serving: Standing Down, a veterans’ reading and discussion series, will run this fall at the Syracuse University Humanities Center.

In a unique collaboration, the New York Council for the Humanities has joined forces with Central New York Humanities Corridor to offer Serving: Standing Down, a veterans’ reading and discussion series that will run this fall at the Syracuse University Humanities Center.

The series is part of a community partnership initiative between the council and the corridor. The Humanities Center and Syracuse University’s Writing Program are co-sponsors of the series.

“With its thematic focus, this reading and discussion program offers an unusual twist on the standard book group format by making time for thinking deeply about one idea, over time, from a variety of perspectives,” says Sara Ogger, executive director of the council.

The Serving: Standing Down reading and discussion program provides a space for veterans to reflect on their service as well as the challenges and opportunities of transitioning from active duty to civilian life. Participants in Serving: Standing Down will come together over the course of four sessions to discuss a variety of thematically linked texts with Christopher Kennedy, associate professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University. The Central New York Humanities Corridor’s Mellon Coordinator, Mi Ditmar will serve as host site coordinator for the program.

“The corridor is deeply honored to be one of four sites in New York State selected to host a Serving: Standing Down reading and discussion group this fall,” says Gregg Lambert, Dean’s Professor of the Humanities and principal investigator of the Central New York Humanities Corridor. “It is apt that the group will meet in the Humanities Center, which is located in the Tolley Humanities Building, named for Chancellor William P. Tolley, who assisted in drafting the G.I. Bill, and who made Syracuse University one of the nation’s top schools for enrolling veterans in the 1940s and 1950s.”


Christopher Kennedy

“It is a privilege to be involved with Serving: Standing Down as the group’s facilitator,” says Kennedy. “Providing veterans an opportunity to enrich their lives through the reading and discussion of literature is a worthy goal, and I look forward to my participation in this program.”

The program is free and open to members of the greater-Syracuse veteran community, although space is limited and pre-registration is required. An introductory meeting is scheduled for  Thursday, Sept. 18, with regular, bi-weekly discussion group sessions beginning Thursday, Sept. 25.

For more information about the series dates and acquiring books, contact the host site coordinator, Mi Ditmar, at or 315-443-5944.

For more information about Serving: Standing Down, visit

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