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College to give honorary degree to Monument Man

4-18-14

EASTON, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania college is paying tribute to one of the last surviving members of the World War II group known as the Monuments Men.

Lafayette College will present an honorary degree to 88-year-old Harry Ettlinger at its commencement ceremony on May 24.

The Monuments Men worked to save cultural treasures across Europe that had been seized by the Nazis. Ettlinger was a U.S. soldier who helped recover stolen art stored in German salt mines.

George Clooney recently directed and starred in a historically based movie called “The Monuments Men.”

Ettlinger, who lives in Rockaway, N.J., inspired the film character named Sam Epstein. He was played by actor Dimitri Leonidas.

Lafayette is a small liberal arts school in Easton that serves about 2,400 students.