Monday, January 23, 2017

Starting an Oral History Program

Dr. Reba Hollingsworth '49
In summer 2016, the DSU archives was invited by a group of stellar alumni to join the DSU Legacy Committee whose purpose is to disseminate the stories of university history through a variety of platforms - the university website, exhibits, alumni events, and more. I'm so grateful that the committee counts it their primary objective to increase the outreach of the archives and encourage alumni to donate their personal records.

I'm pleased to announce that the legacy committee and I have initiated an oral history program! We are on a mission to film some of our most respected and senior alumni in order to capture their memories and personal experiences at the State College for Colored Students, Delaware State College, and of course Delaware State University.

To date, we have filmed interviews with three individuals who graduated from SCCS in the 1940's. All three, Dr. Cora Selby '40, Mrs. Courtney Stevenson '44, and Dr. Reba Hollingsworth '49, are remarkable women who are so very generous, kindhearted, well-spoken and intelligent.

In sharing their stories, these women were able to look back on rich, full lives with pride and recall so many achievements.  What I appreciated the most was that their accomplishments had nothing to do with fame, glory, or riches.  Instead, they were proud of life lessons learned from hard work - how to use a household dryer instead of sending clothes to the dry cleaner, and being charitable with time and money even when you may not have much yourself.

If you'd like to gain some of this wisdom, hear funny stories, and learn about DSU history, come to the archives to view the oral histories.  This is an ongoing project so we've got a long list of interviews still ahead. Do you or someone you know have stories to share about Delaware State University? Let us know!

 Written by Joy Scherry

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