By: Kevin Schascheck, Bicentennial Intern, Class of 2019, International Business and German, South Bend
Permanent, unchanging, forever—these are the words that describe the view many students have of the university which they attend, fundamentally understanding that their institution has gone through change, yet being acutely unaware of the exact details of those changes and occurrences which have shaped the IU campuses we see today. The three areas which we are focused on here at IU South Bend are the creation of a comprehensive timeline, alumni outreach, and working to prepare for our own centennial celebration, which will be held during the spring of 2016. A Jubilee celebration will occur during the spring of 2017 and will celebrate 50 years of granting degrees from our own campus and 25 years of our Ernestine Raclin School of the Arts.
Our timeline spans from 1915 to the present, and we have many important events for IU South Bend included, such as our first class offering, which was a course in political and social issues, the installation of our first chancellor, the history of several buildings, and when certain degrees were offered. Unfortunately, a lot of data is missing from our earlier years, which is to be expected.
The largest source used for the timeline was A Campus Becoming, by Pat Furlong, which details the history of the IU South Bend campus and focuses extensively on the years of Chancellor Wolfson (1964-1987). This shows a personal side of Chancellor Wolfson, who always portrayed himself as a professor of English rather than an administrative figure.
Another resource used was our university newspaper, The Preface, which has served our university for nearly fifty years. Started in 1969, the stewards of The Preface have done an excellent job of covering a variety of topics, ranging from social justice, the Student Government Association, and current events, both inside and outside the university.
We are also working on an alumni outreach survey. One of the complaints throughout our administration is that we are missing a lot of key information on alumni, and it is our hope that we can put together a survey that will not only help us to fill in the gaps, but also to get information that will help us determine which alums would be the best candidates to be interviewed for our oral history projects. We will be asking questions such as “How did your degree prepare you for your current job?” and “What are some of your biggest accomplishments since graduating?” The system we will be using to accomplish this will be Qualtrics, an IU survey program.
Much of this work is overlapping with what the IU South Bend Jubilee Task Force Committee is doing. IU South Bend is approaching its centennial year, and the committee has requested oral histories, which will be provided both to the overall IU Bicentennial Program and to the IU South Bend Committee. We will be able to begin collecting our oral histories after October 3rd, 2016.
This project has a special significance for IU South Bend. Our faculty and administration are very excited to be sharing centennial and bicentennial event information and projects with all of the IU campuses.
To read part two of this blog, please visit: https://blogs.iu.edu/bicentennialblogs/2017/05/16/iu-south-bend-oral-history-project-part-2/
Read more about the campus wide oral history project here: