Author Archives: John Wetenhall

History students explore the beaches of Normandy

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Princeton students at the Ranger Monument on Pointe du Hoc, overlooking Omaha Beach. (Courtesy Master Sgt. Tom Jones/Princeton Army ROTC)

Through the generous gift of an alumnus, 10 Princeton students traveled to the beaches of Normandy this spring to experience the history of D-Day firsthand.

The group, which consisted of nine students in Professor Philip Nord’s class on the history of modern France and one ROTC cadet, spent seven days visiting military and other historical sights in Normandy and Paris with Lt. Col. John Stark and Master Sgt. Tom Jones of Princeton’s ROTC program.
Stark, the director of Army officer education and commissioning at Princeton and a lecturer in the history department, had led similar trips to Normandy while a professor at West Point and wanted to bring the experience to Princeton students.
He approached history department chair William Jordan last year about the creating the trip, and Jordan matched Stark with a history and ROTC alumnus who agreed to fund the trip. “Part of my goal was to give someone the chance to learn about one of these key turning points in history,” Stark said. He also hoped to enhance the connection between the ROTC program and the University.

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