MONTEVALLO, AL- Kirk Saduski, an Emmy-nominated documentarian, visited Alabama on Wednesday for several special events surrounding Veterans Day at the University of Montevallo.
Saduski began his Veterans Day activities with a wreath-laying at The American Village, a landmark that is dedicated to preserving history and honoring veterans.
He then participated in the dedication ceremony of the Dr. Eugene Sledge Memorial Outdoor Classroom in the Harman Hall Courtyard, on the University of Montevallo’s campus. The event honored Dr. Eugene Sledge, a former United States Marine, university professor, and author. Sledge’s 1981 memoir With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa chronicled his combat experiences during World War II and was subsequently used as source material for Ken Burns’ PBS documentary, The War, as well as the HBO miniseries The Pacific, in which he is portrayed by Joseph Mazzello.
“We read ‘With the Old Breed’ and knew right away that it had to be a part of series,” Suduski said. “When we contacted Jean Sledge and her sons they were very open to the idea and luckily agreed to work with us. Over the years we’ve gotten to know the family, so when they asked me to come be a part of the ceremony I was honored.”
In the summer of 1962, Sledge was appointed Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Montevallo. In 1970, he became a professor, a position he held until his retirement in 1990. He taught zoology, ornithology, comparative vertebrate anatomy and other courses during his long tenure there. Sledge was popular with his students, organizing field trips and collections around town. He passed away after a long battle with stomach cancer in 2001.
To conclude the afternoon, Saduski spoke about documentary film making to mass communication students at the University of Montevallo in Davis Hall.
“The Montevallo community was thrilled to welcome Mr. Saduski to Alabama,” said Dr. John Stewart, University of Montevallo President. “He is well-respected in the documentary film industry, specifically relating to wars throughout American history. At Montevallo, we have recently expanded our documentary film making options for students and his lecture to our mass communication class on Veterans Day was extremely impactful and timely.”
Saduski is head of Non-Fiction Film and Television at Playtone and the executive in charge on Band of Brothers and Co-Producer on John Adams, The Pacific and Game Change for HBO. He also produced the documentaries, David McCullough: Painting with Words and He Has Seen War. He is the Co-Executive Producer of the CNN documentary series, The Sixties, The Seventies, and the 2016 premiere of The Eighties.