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Chapman-Woodbury Oral History Program

At Lausanne, we strive to teach our students how to forge meaningful relationships and build character through service to others.

The Chapman-Woodbury Oral History Program is a unique high school history program which was founded at Lausanne Collegiate School in 2003.

Students have been creating their own primary sources in history by interviewing people who participated in significant historical events around the globe.

Students have interviewed over 300 veterans of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm, and have documented stories from first-hand witnesses of the Civil Rights Movement, survivors of the Holocaust, people who experienced the Great Depression, Taiwanese civilians who experienced the Japanese occupation of their island before World War II and stories of immigrants coming to the United States.

Students have also expanded the program by maintaining the website for the Memphis Belle Memorial Association.

Each May, we proudly host a Day of Celebration to honor these veterans and present our latest 30-minute, student-produced video featuring our current veterans' interviews. It is an educational project, but we also represent Memphis as we contribute to this nation's history by sending all of our digital DVD interviews to the "Veteran's History Project," a special division of the National Library of Congress.

Lausanne is one of the few schools designated as an official partner of the Library of Congress Veterans' History Project.

Our interviews with WWII veterans and sent them to the Library of Congress, and are now available online.

Students work hard each year to prepare well researched interview guides, using the resources available in the Lausanne library and in its online databases. They visit area retirement homes such as Kirby Pines and the Solana and receive help from community organizations like the Memphis Jewish Federation, the National Civil Rights Museum, Facing History and Ourselves and the West Tennessee Historical Society in finding interviews.

The Chapman-Woodbury Oral History program is made possible by the generosity of Dr. Cathy Chapman and Dr. George Woodbury, to whom we are very grateful for their continuing support.

For more information, please contact Russ Williams.