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Monday, May. 16, 2022

VWHS seniors learn about Zamperini’s life

VW independent/submitted information

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio is actively fulfilling its mission by bringing speakers who deliver more than entertainment.

Recently, the Niswonger presented Luke Zamperini as a part of its speaker series back on March 6. Zamperini not only entertained hundreds during his lecture, he delivered an unforgettable educational experience for some Van Wert High School seniors.

Luke Zamperini with a group of Van Wert High School seniors. (photo submitted)
Luke Zamperini with a group of Van Wert High School seniors. (photo submitted)

VWHS seniors under the guidance of teachers Myra Hamrick and Keith Utendorf completed their study of Laura Hillenbrand’s book, Unbroken, on March 6 when they attended Luke Zamperini’s lecture at the NPAC. Luke Zamperini is the son of Olympic athlete, World War II prisoner of war survivor, and subject of Unbroken, the novel inspired by his life story that was eventually translated to film in 2014.

The students participated in a six-week study of Louis Zamperini’s saga by meeting in small groups with more than 20 community members. Along with reviewing the trials that Louis experienced and the resilience he exhibited, the groups discussed life lessons inspired by Zamperini’s experiences. When asked about the small group’s discussions, senior Wade Healy said they “offered a deeper understanding of Louis’ journey.”

After completing an in-depth study on their own, the students were excited to hear personal accounts from Zamperini.

“After reading the book and understanding Louis’ story, Luke Zamperini’s presentation placed an exclamation point on the extraordinary events in [Louis’] life,” said senior Josh Braun.

According to Braun, many of the seniors were nearly moved to tears.

Now that the students have completed their study and attended Luke Zamperini’s lecture at the Niswonger, they thanked the many donors who helped purchase the books for the class. Donors include Jeff and Diane Hood, Mark and Cindy Hurless, John and Linda Stutz, Kevin and Kathy Taylor, the Ohio Child Conservation League, Ohio City Community Church of God, and Van Wert Rotary Club.

Louis Zamperini’s story of survival, resilience, and redemption will continue to live on through the lives of these Van Wert High School seniors.

Luke Zamperini was a part of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center’s 2015-2016 Lecture Series. The series also included former Ohio State football great Chris Spielman at the beginning of the season, as well as the upcoming full-day gardening extravaganza “Van Wert Blooms” on Saturday, April 16. Balcony tickets are still available for Van Wert Blooms.

Tickets for events at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center can be purchased online at NPACVW.ORG or through the NPAC box office by calling 419.238.6722 from noon-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center is located at 10700 State Route 118 on the south edge of Van Wert.

POSTED: 03/30/16 at 7:43 am. FILED UNDER: News