Neihardt Conference held at WSC

Kathryn Vlaanderen, Staff Writer

The John G. Neihardt Conference will take place on Sept. 20 and 21 at Wayne State College. This function opens with a panel discussion on Monday at 3:30 p.m. in the Gardner Hall Auditorium. Featured panel speakers include Joseph Weixelman, Nancy Gillis and Meena Dalal. They will reflect on Neihardt’s life, as well as his contributions to the college and Wayne community.  After the panel, a reception will immediately follow in the Gardner Hall lobby.

Visitors to the event will also be able to view an exhibit created by WSC Archivist, Marcus Schlichter, about Neihardt himself, the Neihardt Club and the monuments that honor his inspiring work.  Schlichter reports that he finds Neihardt’s intellect impressive and his thirst for knowledge as both “interesting and humble.”

The conference will continue into Tuesday morning on Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. at the State Nebraska Bank and Trust on 122 Main Street. Event attendees can enjoy a nice coffee, accompanied with a presentation by Meena Dalal over Wayne’s history and the Ley family’s involvement within the college. Afterwards, a walking tour through Wayne’s historic streets downtown. The second installment of events will also include a second chance to see the exhibit and another panel discussion with an additional guest speaker, Tim Anderson.

Throughout the conference, visitors will have the chance to learn about John G. Neihardt and what life was like during his time in Wayne. The event is free to all and made possible by WSC and the Humanities Board of Nebraska. Books will also be available for purchase from Marianne Reynolds, the director of the Neihardt Center in Bancroft, Nebraska.

The conference will be masks optional and will be recorded for those who are not attending the event. WSC history professor, Dr. Joseph Weixelman, said he wants people to be inspired by Neihardt’s story and have a greater outlook on what exactly a college education can do for its very own students -a view which paints college as not just receiving a degree but as the steppingstone for accomplishing your dreams and goals before entering the work force.