Sandra Bullock in The Three Sisters Program.

Sandra Bullock and the East Carolina Playhouse

The East Carolina Playhouse

Source: East Carolina University Archives UA28.01 

Staff Person: Brooke Tolar

Description: Today’s post features an original program for Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters as presented by the East Carolina Playhouse.  This 1985 production cast list includes future Oscar-winning Actress and ECU alumni, Sandra Bullock.  Visit Joyner Library’s Digital Collections page to view digitized images of items featured in this post.

Sandra Bullock in The Three Sisters Program.

Official Program for East Carolina Playhouse’s presentation of The Three Sisters featuring Sandra Bullock and Kevin Williamson.

The East Carolina Playhouse began as the Teachers Playhouse during the mid-1940s.  This campus organization was initially designed to “give its members practical experience” and “promote an enthusiasm for the drama in all its phases (1949 Tecoan, p. 105 https://digital.lib.ecu.edu/15354).”  Over the years, the Playhouse’s popularity increased, as did student participation.  Campus yearbooks often boasted successful seasons, paying homage to the actors and actresses involved.

Sandra Bullock and The Playhouse

Sandra Bullock enrolled at East Carolina University in the early 1980s, by which time the Playhouse served as a well-established campus organization.  She landed starring roles in several Playhouse productions during her college years.  In The Three Sisters, Bullock played Irina, the youngest of three Russian sisters seeking deliverance from unexceptional, small-town lives. Additionally, she starred as Jean in Stage Door (1983) and as Tiger Lily in Peter Pan (1985).  Interestingly, another noteworthy ECU alumni, future filmography icon Kevin Williamson, acted alongside Bullock in her 1985 Playhouse performances.

 

Photograph of Sandra Bullock playing Irene in The Three Sisters.

Image and cast list featured in the 1986 copy of The Buccaneer, p. 182.

Sandra Bullock in Stage Door.

Sandra Bullock (front and center) playing Jean in Stage Door. Image taken from the 1984 copy of The Buccaneer, p. 234.

 

 

Leo Jenkins on Guadalcanal

"Joe Cool on Guadalcanal."

“Joe Cool on Guadalcanal.”

Source:  Leo Jenkins papers, UA90-06

Staff Person:  Arthur Carlson

Description:  This image features Leo Warren Jenkins serving on Guadalcanal.  Born in Succasunna, New Jersey, Jenkins enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1942 upon completion of his doctoral degree at New York University.  For his distinguished service, Jenkins was awarded a Bronze Star and two presidential unit citations.  In 1947, Jenkins accepted the position of Dean of Men at then East Carolina Teachers College.  He succeeded John D. Messick as President of East Carolina College in 1960 and in 1967 he was designated as the first Chancellor of East Carolina University.  As president and chancellor, Jenkins oversaw major increases in student enrollment, the addition of a medical school, a major building campaign, and spearheaded the drive for university status.  Upon his retirement in 1978 he continued to serve the citizens of North Carolina as a special assistant for Economic Development for Governor James B. Hunt, Jr.  Jenkins passed away on January 14, 1989.  Ever proud of being a Marine, he once remarked, “…it has been brought to my attention that there are more Marines enrolled in this institution than in any other college or university in the world. This pleases me very much for I shall always be proud of my association with these men. Since revolutionary war days, it has always been said that once a Marine always a Marine. This will be my lasting honor.”

Certificate for Captain Leo W. Jenkins for completion of Special Services reserve training at Camp Lejeune, N.C., 1949.

Source: Leo Jenkins Papers, Manuscript # 360

Staff Person:  Dale Sauter

Description:  Certificate for Captain Leo W. Jenkins for completion of Special Services reserve training at Camp Lejeune, N.C., 1949. Jenkins served as a Major in World War II where he saw action at Guadalcanal, Guam and Iwo Jima. For his military service, Jenkins received the Bronze Star and two Presidential Citations. In 1947 Jenkins joined the faculty of East Carolina Teachers College, where he served as Dean until being elected as President of the college in 1960. He eventually was named Chancellor, and retired in 1978. date: 1949; creator: U.S. Marine Corps

'Tis the Season for Studying

741.5.d.34

Source:  Daily Reflector Negative Collection (#741.5.d.34)

Staff Person:  Jennifer Joyner

Description:

The month of December is always a busy time for college students. At East Carolina University, Joyner Library has been bustling around the clock with students finishing their coursework and preparing for exams. The same was true in December 1954, when this photograph was taken by a Daily Reflector photographer. Even though times have changed and the landscape of the library looks much different today, Joyner remains the place to study on campus. To see more photographs of Greenville’s past, be sure to check out the Daily Reflector Negative Collection, Manuscript Collection #741.

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

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.

First Floor Plans of the Austin Building

Source: University Archives Architectural Collection, 55-08-0043 

Staff Person: Kacy Guill 

The Austin Building was constructed in 1908 and 1909 and served for many years as the main classroom building and library at East Carolina Teachers Training School.  The Austin Building also included the school’s administrative offices, including the president’s office, and an auditorium.  The building was demolished in 1968 to make way for the Jenkins Fine Art Center.

 The plan of the first floor of the Austin Building dates before 1914 when an east wing was added.  A west wing was added in 1922.

ECU Winners of the O. Max Gardner Award

Source: UW0000/02/03/A/.1/HOWELL University Archives

Staff Person: Maury York

Description: In 1983, three recipients from East Carolina University of the University of North Carolina’s O. Max Gardner Award–Ovid Pierce, Francis Speight, and Stanley Riggs–posed with Dr. Gladys Howell and Kenlyn Riggs at a reception held in their honor. The award is given annually by the UNC Board of Governors to recognize a faculty member in the system who “has made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race.”

First Graduation Ceremony

Source: University Archives, UA50-06-1010-01

Staff Person: Kacy Guill

Description:

The first graduation ceremony at East Carolina Teachers Training School occurred in May 1910. No degrees were awarded, but several students completed a one-year program for rural teachers. Beginning with the 1910 ceremonies through the 1940s, graduation ceremonies were multi-day events lasting as many as four days. Activities included a commencement sermon on the Sunday before the ceremonies, class day exercises, a commencement recital, an alumnae dinner, and graduating exercises.

Closing Exercises of the East Carolina Teachers’ Training School, May 20, 1910. UA50-06-1010-01. University Archives, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina.


Travel for Academic Credit

Source: Paul Ricks Papers, University Archives #UA90-02, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.

Rick's Tour Bus

Rick's Tour Bus

Staff Person: Kacy Guill

Description:

In 1935, East Carolina Teachers College obtained the services of Paul T. Ricks as director of a new travel course designed to meet the needs of travel-hungry students. For the initial tour, more than a hundred students filled a large bus and several touring cars. The tours provided three hours of credit in geography, American literature, and history, and satisfied requirements for college electives or renewal credits for teacher certification. So great was the demand for these economical study-vacations that three separate three-week tours were operated the first summer and an expanded schedule of tours was arranged until the restrictions of World War II brought them to an end.

Click on the images to see an enlarged version.

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