Monday, June 28, 2010

The dream of a lifetime: Becoming a history buff?

Right after math, history was one of my least favorite subjects in school. It was the same thing year after year, and of course it never changed: This person did this in this year…this event happened on this date…ZZZ…

The past year, however, has been an adventure through Wayne State College’s past, from 1891 to the present, as we celebrate its centennial this year.

My boss had me start out last summer with finding photos of certain people for the proposed centennial yearbook. I went through boxes and files of photos and filmstrips, scanning and recreating the images for print. I also dived into every Spizzerinktum (Spizz), the school yearbook, so many times now that I remember many of the contents of certain years and much of how Wayne State evolved from a private college on the hill to a thriving state institution. The books were printed from 1914 through 1971, with only three or four exceptions due to hard times or wars.

Following that huge undertaking, I never imagined my entire workday for the next year would be consumed with video.

I’ve been tweeting about a number of videos that I’ve completed, and the number continues to grow. I went through so many DV tapes of footage that my teacher shot over the past several years while interviewing alumni, former WSC presidents and strong supporters of the institution. I had to break down each interview into smaller segments, centralized around a certain topic, which was an interesting journey. Oh, the stories I’ve heard!

I spent last Friday morning with President Collings, going through his videos and getting his approval. With three interviews left to cut – one professor, one alumnus and one honorary alumnus – I’ll have well over 80 videos total. Not all of them will be able to be posted online, I’m sure, but they will all be archived for historical purposes.

Here's the introduction I made for all the videos. It includes images from the first College Building to a recent Willow Bowl graduation:

Much of this information won’t ever be found in a book, and no one else would have ever known had these great people not shared their Wayne State experiences.

And I am so honored to be able to play a part in archiving the memories of my alma mater.
Happy 100 years this September, Wayne State! *Cheers*

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