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RaySociety class explores the Vietnam War from an Iowa perspective

May 12, 2009
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The RaySociety is named after Gov. Robert D. and Billie Ray.

Two journalists who covered the Vietnam War will share their experiences as part of a RaySociety class at Drake University on Tuesday, May 19.

The class, which is open to all Vietnam veterans free of charge, meets Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. in the courtroom of the Neal and Bea Smith Law Center at 2400 University Ave. Veterans are asked to register in advance by contacting Rena Wilson at 515-271-2120.

The journalists speaking on May 19 are:

  • Rick Fredericksen, a reporter for Armed Forces Radio during the war and now a news features reporter for Iowa Public Radio.

  • Jack Baird, a U.S. Marines combat reporter and a photographer for the Stars & Stripes newspaper during the war. He also is the author of "Combat Combo Marine."

The class will conclude on Tuesday, May 26, with a session focused on Iowa's involvement in the resettlement of Vietnam War refugees. The speakers will be former Iowa Gov. Robert D. Ray and Kenneth Quinn, former U.S. ambassador to Cambodia.

The Billie and Robert D. Ray Lifelong Learning Society at Drake University takes its name from a pair of distinguished Drake
alumni: Gov. Ray, who also served as the University's president, and
Billie Ray, former first lady of Iowa and a former schoolteacher.
For more information about the class and the RaySociety, visit the RaySociety Web site.

The RaySociety offers social activities and classes on a variety of topics for people of retirement age who are interested in learning in a college atmosphere.

The society will holds its annual Year End Celebration and Annual Meeting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, in Sheslow Auditorium in Old Main, 2507 University Ave.

A reception will follow at 4 p.m. in Levitt Hall in Old Main.

All RaySociety members and prospective members are welcome to attend the annual meeting and reception, which are free and open to the public. Reservations are requested. For reservations, call 515-271-2120 or send an e-mail to rena.wilson@drake.edu.

The RaySociety's annual membership fee is $50 (June 1-May 31). Most classes cost $25 each.