It might seem impossible to seamlessly weave together, in less than one hour, the reflections of more than 20 people, a historically accurate capsule in time, and an homage to people and place without making the viewer anxious or distracted, but director Jerald Harkness and his production house Studio Auteur do just that with “The Indiana Memorial Union Story: The Heart of Campus.”
From Union Board alum Anne Kostyo’s opening recollection of a student’s heartfelt gratitude for a unique Union Board program—“He says thank you for doing this for me. He’d spent four years on this campus and had never really felt like he’d belonged.”—to historical nuggets mined by university historians and the personal insights of Union Board alumni, the documentary succeeds at entertaining, informing, and for the uninitiated, communicating the richness of the “union” experience.
It gives deserved reference to Union Board alumni association namesake John Whittenberger, who as a student, created the first Indiana University union in 1909, only to pass away from typhoid fever a year later. The film recognizes professionals like the late IU Chancellor Herman B Wells who empowered students through union activities, and it gives a voice to a long line of IU alumni who benefitted from their experiences on Union Board.
“It gives you the freedom to think outside the box.” “It’s a real laboratory for learning.” “It helps you find your voice.” “There’s something here they can connect to.” “Making students feel like this experience matters, and that they have a place here.” These reflections help recognize the film as a wonderfully sourced memoir and a perfect marketing piece for future Union Board volunteers.
View the IMU Documentary now at bit.ly/imudocumentary.