GLS 592: Head South on College: UNCW Stories
Instructors: Mike Wentworth and Patricia Turrisi
A good story has two major building blocks, according to Ira Glass: a sequence of actions, that is, the anecdote, and, a reflection on the story’s purpose, revealing the point in telling it (http://youtu.be/loxJ3FtCJJA ). To keep your audience’s attention, you need bait – a question you’ll eventually answer.
Those who are curious about the political, economic or educational dimensions of UNCW’s growth from a community college to a Comprehensive I university ranked highly by Princeton Review, Kiplinger’s Best College Values, and US News and World Report’s"Best Colleges 2014", you might bait a story with questions that ask how we navigated to this shore at this moment on 601 South College Road:
- How did a college center offering freshman courses to 250 students in 1946-1947 become the “state’s coastal university” integrating teaching and mentoring with research and service,” to [stimulate] creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression and responsible citizenship in an array of high-quality programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels, and in our doctoral programs in marine biology and educational leadership”?
- How did we develop a commitment to “diversity and inclusion, affordable access, global perspectives, and enriching the quality of life through scholarly community engagement in such areas as health, education, the economy, the environment, marine and coastal issues, and the arts”?
Perhaps you’d like to highlight the social and cultural aspects of student and campus life by telling the more intimate and personal stories of UNCW’s customs, traditions, rituals, legends, events, artifacts, and settings that have shaped and informed our distinctive campus culture and campus identity:
- Why a Seahawk?
- What’s special about here?
- What did the campus look like before I arrived?
- What’s really in that forest out back?
- Did any famous people go to school or work here?
- What don’t I know about UNCW that would shake my world if I knew?
- Are there any juicy secrets that reveal another side of things?
- From 1946 until the present, a lot of stuff has happened beyond UNCW. What sorts of responses did the campus have to:
- The bikini? Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” Speech, the Apartheid Policy, the formation of the State of Israel, the establishment of NATO, the Soviet acquisition of the Atomic Bomb?
- Seat belts, the polio vaccine, Playboy Magazine, the Rosenbergs, breaking the Four Minute Mile barrier, segregation in the USA, Disneyland, Rosa Parks, Elvis, Sputnik, hula hoops, LEGOs, Red China, Castro in Cuba?
- Televised presidential debates, “the pill,” the Beatles, the Kent State shootings, VCRs, Watergate, the civil rights movement, the women’s movement? Patty Hearst, Vietnam, ebola, Microsoft, Star Wars, the Jonestown Massacre, Three Mile Island, the Walkman, Mother Teresa, Princess Diana, E.T., Michael Jackson, famine in Ethiopia, Chernobyl, the Iran Contra Scandal, Libya, Pan Am Flight 103, the Berlin Wall, Tiananmen Square, Operation Desert Storm, Waco TX, Lorena Bobbitt, O.J. Simpson, Oklahoma City, cell phones, Mad Cow Disease, Hale-Bopp, Dolly, personal computers, Nine eleven, Twitter?
If so, we’re exploring and collecting photographic and archival sources in Randall Library, together with oral histories from town and gown, reconstructing UNCW’s history over the past sixty-four years.
What will you use as bait to tell your stories?
Last Update: May 30, 2014