American Studies Students See One-of-a-Kind WWI Artifacts
By: Jennifer Sproule, Upper School English Teacher
Walter Kress, the father of Andrew Kress '23, brought history to life when he joined St. Luke's American Studies and Honors American Studies classes to share a family collection of World War I photographs and artifacts worthy of a museum.
Mr. Kress' forebear, Evan Thomas Mathis, Jr., served in World War I and meticulously documented his experiences through both photography and writing. His records, paired with Mr. Kress' expansive knowledge of the artifacts, were the foundation for a rich presentation. A journal excerpt describing an upcoming dance, an original piece of a parachute, and a May 1917 draft card are just a few of the items Mr. Kress shared with students. Each item came with a compelling story that added personal color to our studies.
Charlie Lewis '23 said of the visit, "It really was fascinating to hear from someone who has such a close connection to the history we have been studying this year. Mr. Kress' stories really touched the class and had us at the edge of our seats wanting to hear more."
Mr. Kress' next goal is to have the artifacts properly archived and available to the public. In the meantime, it was a gift to St. Luke's students to see and hold such meaningful relics.
Harrison Bennett ‘23 said, “I learned so much from Mr. Kress' visit. Seeing how thoughtfully he takes care of these artifacts and memories has given me a new perspective in American Studies, as well as a greater appreciation for tangible history.”
To see additional photos from the class and Mr. Kress' presentation slides, click here.
St. Luke’s School is a secular (non-religious), private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.