Tom Murphy to present Nov. 9 Adventures in Lifelong Learning lecture

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Nov. 4, 2010) — J. Thomas Murphy, professor of history at Bemidji State University, will discuss how societies welcome veterans home from war as part of the University’s Adventures in Lifelong Learning lecture series.

The lecture, one of eight sponsored by the University’s Optivation venture, will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 9, from 10-11:30 a.m. at Optivation’s 3801 Bemidji Ave. N. facility.

For Americans, World War II stands as the benchmark for appreciating military service because society seemed most supportive, recognizing the sacrifice of veterans, welcoming them home, and providing meaningful benefits, such as the GI Bill. Veterans of the Vietnam War, in contrast, felt unappreciated and often described being spit upon by protesters. Ever mindful of this past, the public and various agencies from veterans’ group to campus communities like Bemidji State have tried to assist recent veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

This presentation will address the principle questions veterans have faced. It will focus on the United States but include the stories of other veterans, such as those in Germany after both world wars.

Tom Murphy is an associate professor of history in his ninth year at Bemidji State. He received his doctorate from the University of Illinois and served as an assistant editor on four volumes of the papers of Ulysses S. Grant. At Bemidji State, Murphy teaches courses in 19th and 20th Century United States history, including a history of the Vietnam War and a course on veterans in history.

Adventures in Lifelong Learning was formerly known as the Academy of Lifelong Learning. The organization’s board of directors voted unanimously over the summer to transition the branding of the organization away from a formal classroom experience to reflect a less intimidating adult learning style.

Adventures in Lifelong Learning is organized exclusively to provide opportunities for continuing education in the Bemidji area. The program intends to help participants improve critical thinking skills and to appreciate the diversity of human experience through varied and lively discussions.

For more information, contact Optivation at (218) 755-4900 or

About Optivation
Optivation is an off-campus venture operated jointly by Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College designed to increase collaboration between the University, the college, and the business and technology sectors of the northwest Minnesota region. Staffed by veteran business and entrepreneurial professionals, Optivation delivers targeted training and education systems to help organizations succeed in a changing world. Through its affiliations with the University and the technical college, Optivation is able to tap into an unparalleled network of people and technology across the state of Minnesota.

For more information, visit Optivation at