John Alexis Edgren
John Alexis Edgren (1839-1908) – The History Center

On Friday Bethel revealed the 2014 roster of Edgren Scholars, and we’re happy to announce that, for the first time, that list included a pair from the History Department: Fletcher Warren (’15) and Prof. Chris Gehrz.

In its fourteenth year, the program — named after Bethel founder John Alexis Edgren — funds as many as four summer projects in which faculty and students collaborate on original research. (One of Edgren’s four principles for Bethel was that the student-teacher relationship should be one of helper and friend.) Among other goals, the program is meant to “encourage students to pursue scholarship,” “raise the level of scholarship and discussion in the world of ideas at Bethel University,” and “encourage study of creative and innovative emerging issues and approaches.”

Chris and Fletcher will spend the summer researching Bethel’s experience of modern warfare in the hundred years since 1914, the year both that World War I started and Bethel permanently (re)settled in St. Paul. Focusing on the two world wars, the Vietnam War, and the wars fought since 9/11, they’ll use the Omeka content management system to produce a digital history exhibit integrating narrative text, documents, images, audio, and video.

One distinctive feature of the project is that is meant to build on previous work by our students. First, a short film on Bethel during World War II that Fletcher produced with Sarah Herb (’14) and Tyler DuBois (’14) this past January in Chris’ WWII class.

Second, Senior Seminar papers by Taylor Ferda (’09 — on the Baptist General Conference and WWII) and Annie Berglund (’13 — on Bethel students during the Vietnam era).

Learn more about the project and the Edgren program in Chris’ post this morning at his personal blog, The Pietist Schoolman.

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