Johnston County, NC Teacher’s First Grade Certificate

Source: Albert R. Smith Collection #9.1.b.23

Staff Person: Jonathan Dembo

Description: This Teacher’s First Grade Certificate, dated 12 Oct. 1889, belonged to N. T. Ryals of Johnston County, North Carolina.  It showed that Ryals had successfully passed the examination to teach in Johnston County’s public schools.  It listed his “true grade of scholarship” in Spelling, Defining, Reading, Writing, Aritmetic (Mental and Written), English Grammar, Geography, Elementary Phsysiology and Hygiene, History of North Carolina, & History of the United States. Ryals passed all these examinations with grades between 90 and 95 out of a possible 100 points. Johnston County Superintendent of Public Instruction Ira T. Truslington signed the certificate and also attested that Ryals had “also furnished satisfactory evidence of good moral character.” According to his journal, Ryal’s teaching was not his sole source of income. He was also a surveyor and farmer. Printed form. 1 item. 1 p.

N. T. Ryal's Teacher's First Grade Certificate

Use of Closed Circuit TV Marks the Beginning of ECU's Technological Progress

Source: University Archives

East Carolinian front page, 1958

East Carolinian front page, 1958

Staff Person: L. K. Gypsye Legge


In 2008, East Carolina University celebrates the Golden Anniversary of homecoming with our Golden Class: the graduates of 1958. That year, East Carolina College, as the institution was then known, celebrated 50 years of higher education in Eastern North Carolina with an enthusiasm as great as we have seen for the centennial of East Carolina Unversity. Reviewing documents of the era for an exhibit to honor visiting alumni, I found the image below amusing and enlightening:

A 21-inch television seems almost quaint, as an educational experiment, in light of the more than 300 Smart Classrooms, complete with computer controlled projectors and web access, available today. There is also a reference to Joyner Library as the site of the studios. Even with progress, some things are constant. Today Joyner Library still contains studios, but now the focus is on videoconferencing [, accessed November 5, 2008.]

ECU has the largest distance education prograrm in North Carolina [, accessed November 5, 2008.] With this anonymous news item and photo, it becomes clear that many of our current achievements are the result of decades of effort pursuing all avenues to provide effective education for all students enrolled in East Carolina University.