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The Muster Roll

Speaker Series

Sponsored by the Sherrin H. and Bruce A. Baky Foundation

As part of the Alliance’s mission to provide interesting and compelling programming for the public, the annual Speaker Series is held in cooperation with the Washington Memorial Chapel. This series, which runs from September through May, gathers an array of historians, scientists, authors, archeologists, actors and performers to share with the public their multiple points of view on history, the natural world and the ongoing commemoration of Valley Forge.

September to April presentations are free and held at Washington Memorial Chapel, on Route 23 in Valley Forge, on Tuesdays at 7 pm. The May presentation will be held in the theater at Valley Forge. A complimentary reception follows each talk.

For directions to the Chapel, visit

September 6, 2016
The Washington Memorial Chapel:
History, Architecture, and Symbolism

The Washington Memorial Chapel was built by and for the American people as a memorial to George Washington and as a statement of the crucial importance of the Valley Forge encampment to our nation’s existence and identity. This presentation will discuss the historical context in which it was built, who built it and why, and will show the several layers of symbolism and meaning revealed in the stained glass windows and architecture of the Chapel.

About the Speaker

Gardiner Pearson

Gardiner Pearson, a member of the Washington Memorial Chapel since 2007, is the president of the Board of the Washington Memorial Heritage, the secular 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the Chapel. He served twenty-four years with the State Department in Washington and in U.S. Embassies abroad, then retired in 2005. Prior to U.S. government service Gardiner worked for Citibank International in Greece, Morocco, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Gardiner received an A.B. in History from Princeton University and a M.P.A from Woodrow Wilson School and served three years in the U.S. Navy. He was born and reared in suburban Philadelphia.

Oct 4
Whatever Did They Eat?
Clarissa F. Dillon, Ph.D.
With two armies nearby, foraging and hungry, families in Eastern Pennsylvanians during the winter of 1777–78 found themselves severely pinched for food.
Nov 1
The Storm
Sam Katz
The founder of History Making Productions shares his award-winning video about Philadelphia before, during, and after the Revolutionary War.
Dec 6
An Inventory of an Army: What the British Surrendered at Yorktown
Bob Sullivan
A unique perspective on the British Army through the equipment and accoutrements surrendered on October 19, 1781.