History Harvest Begins At North
On December 8th, a team from Purdue Fort Wayne and North Side began the process of documenting the history of North Side from its beginnings until the present. That was our first History Harvest, and the goal is to create a book about the first one hundred years of our school. That was the original goal, but now, along with the help of PFW, we know that we will actually be creating a living archive that can be maintained into the next 100 years.
The first stories that were recorded came from graduates as early at 1961 and as late as 2006. The Journal Gazette even highlighted Denny Baron from 1961 and the married couple from 2005 Sharon Wight and Daniel Hicks.
Leading us in this process is Deanna Wooley. Deanna is a professor at PFW. She started her fascination of oral history with her grandfather who was a POW during World War II. His story eventually led her to a grant she received to follow his steps in Europe to the point of his capture. In the fall of this year, Deanna found out through Andrew Downs, a 1986 graduate of North Side, that North Side was looking for PFW students to help with the creation of a book on the school’s history. In her role as Public History Coordinator our project was a perfect fit.
Since then, she has met with the Alumni Board’s history committee and as a result has helped us to build the framework for the creation of our school’s history. This includes writing a grant that would purchase equipment and compensate the PFW students who write and edit the stories that we collect. In the end, there is now a team of Alumni Association board members, PFW staff and students, and current staff and students at North Side who are carrying out the creation of this book.
There will be three more History Harvests in early 2019. The first will be on February 16th before Alumni Night from 1:00 to 4:30. The next is scheduled for February 23. Finally, we will gather more information on March 23. All North Side alumni are encouraged to join us on one of those days to bring in their stories and memorabilia. Memorabilia will be scanned or a picture will be taken unless you wish to donate the item.
We are aware that many of you live too far away to be able to attend these events. We encourage you to send us your stories through the mail or email. firstname.lastname@example.org