President Wright's Chapel Talk

Source: PresidentWright’s Chapel Talk CH1050.2.1.1.6 University Archives
Staff Person: Ken Harbit

Description:
East Carolina Teachers College President Robert H. Wright’s “Chapel Talks” were given to students every morning from 9:30 to 10:25 six days a week. Chapel Talks typically consisted of a reading from the Bible followed by Wright’s thoughts regarding the Bible passage or some other moral instruction for the students, along with any news, schedule changes, or other announcements. The subject of this address is the budgetary process and Wright’s concern over the lack of funds for East Carolina Teachers College.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet

Source:  University Archives Photograph Collection, 55-01-5833

Staff Person:  Kacy Guill

Description:

In the Fall of 1957, the Student Government Association invited the Dave Brubeck Quartet to play at East Carolina College.  By the time the performance occurred in February 1958, Dave Brubeck’s bass player had been replaced by Eugene Wright.  Since he was African American, Eugene Wright was not permitted to play on stage at ECC, but required to perform from off stage.

In response, the Student Government Association petitioned ECC President John Messick for permission to invite any entertainment they chose without consideration of race.  The Board of Trustees granted permission.

Juanita Worsley Williams

Source: East Carolina University Centennial Oral History Collection, 45-05-01-14:

Staff Person:  Lynette Lundin

Description:

Juanita Williams grew up in Rocky Mount, North Carolina she was one of 13 children. She graduated East Carolina Teachers College in 1932. She talks about her experiences during the depression and going to ECTC. This is one of 33 Centennial Oral Histories. You can find this in our digital collections at http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/1270

Sadie Hawkins Day Race

Source:  University Archives Visual Materials Collection

Staff Person:  Arthur Carlson

Description: This photo from the University Archives shows East Carolina students participating in a 1953 Sadie Hawkins Day Race (UA55-01-4841). By tradition, on Sadie Hawkins Day girls ask boys to accompany them to a dance or on a date. The event originated in 1937 with the comic strip Li’l Abner when the town spinster, Sadie Hawkins, is sent in pursuit of the town’s eligible bachelors as they raced to avoid marriage to the “homeliest gal in the hills.”  The gender-based role reversal proved popular among female college students as Sadie Hawkins Day events rose in popularity across the nation. By 1952, Sadie Hawkins Day events were held in over 40,000 locations.  In this image, Fleming and Wilson Dormitories are on the right and the Old Cafeteria Complex is just visible on the left. The large building in the center rear is the original Austin classroom building.

UA55-01-4841

William Clyde Friday 1920 – 2012

Source: Joyner Library Digital Collections Identifer: 55-01-1676

Staff Person: Ralph Scott

Description: 

William Clyde “Bill” Friday (July 13, 1920 – October 12, 2012) served as the head of the University of North Carolina system from 1956 to 1986. He was born in Raphine, Va.,  and raised in Dallas, N.C. After retirement, Friday remained an influential voice in North Carolina and hosted a public television talk show, North Carolina People, which he began while still president of the University system. Friday is shown here with ECU President Leo Jenkins in this undated photograph. No doubt Jenkins was explaining some of the finer points of the Pirate Life to Mr.Friday. Mr. Friday died on Friday, October 12, 2012.

Rise Stevens

  • Source:  University Archives Yearbook Collection, 1943 (UA50-01-1943-165).
  • Staff Person:  Arthur Carlson
  • Description:  This image from the University Archives features famed opera singer Rise Stevens. Born Rise Steenberg, 11 June 1913 in New York City, she studied at the Julliard School before moving to Vienna, Austria to pursue a career in opera.  In 1938, she made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera where she caught the eye of Hollywood film executives who cast her in The Chocolate Soldier (1941) and Going My Way (1944).  For over two decades, Stevens performed as the Met’s leading mezzo-soprano, earning top billing on many successful productions.  Upon her retirement from the stage, she served as the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera Company while also serving as a coach for aspiring opera singers.  This image was taken during her visit to East Carolina during World War II.  Her visit provided some distraction of glitz and glamour to a student body faced with the daily specters of global war in Europe and the Pacific and examinations here on the home front.

World's Fastest Typist

Source: University Archives UA55-01-8226

Staff Person: Arthur Carlson

Description:

This picture from the University Archives features Cortez W. Peters, Sr who held the world record as the World’s Fastest Typist (UA55-01-8226).  Born in Maryland, Peters achieved a then world record of 141 words per minute in 1925.  With the advent of improved typing technology, Peters eventually peaked at 180 words per minute perfectly, a record that would stand until his son, Cortez W. Peters, Jr. surpassed his father.  A favorite guest of television variety show hosts, he also aided the Allied war effort during WWII by acquiring and donating typewriters for use by the Federal government.   A decade later, Peters opened with his son the first black-owned typing schools, the Cortez Peters Business Schools,  featuring offices in Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington, DC.  The schools served over 45,000 students.  He visited East Carolina to meet with business students during summer school sessions that allowed blacks to attend classes before the formal desegregation of East Carolina.  Peters passed away in 1964 at the age of 57 in Washington, DC.

YWCA Retreat, 1943

Source:  YWCA Collection, UA 45.01

Staff Person:  Arthur Carlson

Description:

This photograph features members of the 1943 Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) at their leadership retreat at Camp Leach, near modern-day Goose Creek State Park in Washington, NC.   Organized during the first year of East Carolina’s operation, the YWCA organized social, religious, and academic events aimed at improving the student experience.  For many years, campus YWCA membership trumped participation in all other student organizations.  To learn more about campus organizations or to see the entirety of the 1943 Camp Leach Retreat Collection (UA 45.01.01), visit the University Archives.

Camp Leach, 1943