ECU Historic Documentation of Support Staff
Source: University Archives
Staff Person: Kacy Guill
Many university archives are increasingly trying to increase documentation of under-represented groups in archival collections including African-American, Latino, Asian American, Native Americans, women, and members of the gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.
Perhaps one of the most under-documented groups in East Carolina University history is the support staff: the men and women who cleaned classrooms and dorm rooms, cooked and served food in the dining halls, and maintained the often photographed landscaping of the University. For many years, their role in the University was only preserved as line items in the budget and brief mentions in the campus newspaper of a “servant” caught stealing clothing in the dorms or a reminder to thank the “girl” who served the food in the dining hall. Below are two of the few images that document support staff at ECU.
Page from the 1927 Tecoan showing the housekeeping and dining hall staff. Text at the bottom of the page reads “We Couldn’t Do Without Them.” (p741.14.e.6)
“Students lined up while workers serve them in the cafeteria at East Carolina College” Daily Reflector, 1958.