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Fisher, Margaret Barrow,
Margaret B. Fisher oral history interview
h [electronoic resource] /
interviewed by Nancy Hewitt,
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida,
1 sound file (58 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 transcript (20 p.)
USF 25th (1985) anniversary oral history project
Description based on CD version record.
Recorded Aug. 7, 1985.
Margaret B. Fisher, appointed Director of Student Affairs at USF in 1960, describes her responsibilities at the time and the educational philosophy of the new university.
Fisher, Margaret Barrow,
University of South Florida
University of South Florida
Hewitt, Nancy A.,
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
i CD version:
Fisher, Margaret Barrow, 1918-
t [Margaret B. Fisher].
USF 25th (1985) anniversary oral history project.
y CLICK HERE TO ACCESS DIGITAL AUDIO AND TRANSCRIPT
C O P Y R I G H T N O T I C E T h i s O r a l H i s t o r y i s c o p y r i g h t e d b y t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a L i b r a r i e s O r a l H i s t o r y P r o g r a m o n b e h a l f o f t h e B o a r d o f T r u s t e e s o f t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a C o p y r i g h t 2 0 0 7 U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a A l l r i g h t s r e s e r v e d T h i s o r a l h i s t o r y m a y b e u s e d f o r r e s e a r c h i n s t r u c t i o n a n d p r i v a t e s t u d y u n d e r t h e p r o v i s i o n s o f t h e F a i r U s e F a i r U s e i s a p r o v i s i o n o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s C o p y r i g h t L a w ( U n i t e d S t a t e s C o d e T i t l e 1 7 s e c t i o n 1 0 7 ) w h i c h a l l o w s l i m i t e d u s e o f c o p y r i g h t e d m a t e r i a l s u n d e r c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s F a i r U s e l i m i t s t h e a m o u n t o f m a t e r i a l t h a t m a y b e u s e d F o r a l l o t h e r p e r m i s s i o n s a n d r e q u e s t s c o n t a c t t h e U N I V E R S I T Y O F S O U T H F L O R I D A L I B R A R I E S O R A L H I S T O R Y P R O G R A M a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a 4 2 0 2 E F o w l e r A v e n u e L I B 1 2 2 T a m p a F L 3 3 6 2 0
DR MARGARET FISHER Hewitt : t I am speaking this afternoon with Dr Margaret B Fisher, a member of the charter faculty, Dean of Women, Assistant to the Vice President of Student Affairs, and a Professor of Interdisciplinary Social and Behavioral Sciences, as part of the USF Silver Anniversary Oral History Project Let me begin by asking you how you first heard of the University of South Florida and what made you decide to come here? Fisher : t Well, the higher education establishment generally knew of the establishment of the University of South Florida from the time that the Rumbaugh Commission began studying in 1953 or '54 The development was followed with a great interest because this would be the first new, autonomous state university for quite a long time, probably nearly fifty years in this country Most of the expansion institutions that came in the early period of expansion, beginning in 1947 till 1950, were branches or satellite campuses of existing institutions This one was a new, free-standing institution It was followed very closely by the professional associations in the field like the Association of Higher Education and the Deans' Association, in both of which I was quite active I decided that I wasn't interested in it because it was in Florida, but after I left Hampton Institute in June of 1960 and moved to Washington, where I was pinned to the U .S Office of Education, to begin the research and evaluation program on the graduate education portion of the National Defense Education Act That was suppose to get going in October or November Max Wise called from Teachers College in Columbia and said that he couldn't find anybody to come down and work here with Howard Johnshoy in Student Affairs and would I come down look at it So I came down and looked at it and went back and got unpinned I figured that they
2 needed help It looked interesting It enjoyed Howard Johnshoy, Frank Spain, President Allen, and I knew Russell Cooper Actually if Russell hadn't called me after Max did, why I probably would have said no I knew him from a long way back and knew what he was trying to accomplish in interdisciplinary studies, which was a major concern of mine That was the major reason why I came down to look at it, and also he expressed particular interest in the linkage between voluntary student activities and voluntary association student, faculty, the curriculum, and the instructional program with the customary organization, the divisions--academic, students, and administrative affairs The planning and development of the Student Affairs Program was one of the key factors in this interlocking of voluntary association and classroom instruction that he had so much interest in And I was interested in that, too Actually I published a couple of articles on it and that appealed to me very much Hewitt : t Now when you arrived in the late summer of 1960, what was your actual first position at USF? Fisher : t I didn't exactly have a title when I left, and I understood that I was to be responsible primarily for planning programs that were still being designed and implementing and administering some that were going, such as financial aid, which had already started For teaching, I had met with Les Tuttle in Behavioral Science, and we had worked out the basic approaches to the Behavioral Science Program But we didn't go into titles or anything In particular When I got back . I had been here for three or four hours . I discovered that my title was Director of Women's Affairs, which I felt was not quite the thing So we said that it would be Women's Activities It hadn't been made public or anything so we could change
things very easily Then my opposite number, the Director of Men's Activities, Richard Cole, did not arrive in Tampa As far as we know, he vanished somewhere between Holbrook and Arizona On Labor Day weekend in 1960, when there were flash floods all through that country, we assumed that he was one of the people lost in that disaster So I was offered a salary boost and the title of Director of Student Activities and a commensurate salary increase which I got around Christmas at the Board of Regents got to it And there we went on struggling with me and Dean Hewitt : t What kind of programs did you actually try and develop initially in terms of student activity? Fisher : t Oh horrors! As I say, most of the work entailed planning We already had the University Center opened Wayne Lake, a very distinguished union director, had been aboard and had the building in place and the program outlined The first thing I did was to sit down and draft the vocational guidance/career development/placement program, and actually that was the last program to be brought back into Student Affairs It was located temporarily with the Personnel office under Jack Chambers All in the theory that they could handle, was part-time student employment at the University, and they had the systems in hand for advertising jobs out in the community and employer contacts to handle student placement off-campus as well Personnel was also very much interested in cooperative education He already had George Miller aboard working on that, but the overall design for all career development programs I worked out in . When we did finally get it back into the student affairs umbrella, it came pretty much in the same configuration that I originally worked it out That was the very first thing I did Financial Aid was already going The system was arranged so 3
4 that I took most of the load off of Dean Johnshoy although everybody had to kind of share and share alike One of the major, long-term planning jobs was for residents We had the first one designed in a hole in the ground for Alpha Hall, but the program for the organization and staffing and the connections of residence halls and other programs had to be written Also I began working on the modified design for the suite-type of living In the second round of halls, which came in around '65, what is now the Andros Center Those were the two very early and major things The religious centers . that President Allen had set up the agreement for foundations of these on campus He worked out a plan for cooperative religious enterprise and the organization of council With Duane Lake and Phyllis Marshall, we worked out the overall program and coordination of standards for voluntary activities of different kinds Standards and discipline we had to firm up and that continued to be a major planning responsibility Of course it goes with any job at student affairs The immediate, practical work I did was in the orientation, counseling, and registration of new students From the registration groups that we brought in, about 50 at a time, we continued them as the temporarily as the foundation for the student association campus wide, each one with a faculty adviser, and they were free to continue as long as they wanted to . to transform themselves into another type of interest group or whatever . I think about half of them did go on through most of the semester Some converted themselves into fraternal societies and others into special interest clubs of all sorts Then we spent . We really had two groups going The University Center . Well, the council presidents of the registration groups were working with me, and we had a temporary committee working with Dean Johnshoy on student plans for a student association That was another part of the
organization I've told that story in Fisher and Cooper so I really shouldn't repeat so much of this On standards and discipline, housing and financial aid, and career development . Counseling center was up and we were actively working on personal counseling and on the early intervention approach to crisis management which again I dealt with a little That ought to give you an idea . Hewitt : t Now you were also teaching at this point in addition to these responsibilities? Fisher : t Yes Hewitt : t How did that fit in to your whole philosophy of USF in the early days, that you would be doing this variety of administrative tasks and teaching as well? Fisher : t Well, as I said this was one thing that I was interested in when I came here It was the interdisciplinary approach and the idea of an interdisciplinary assignment for every professional staff member with a mixture of administration, instruction, student advising, and counseling Of course, there would be a different mix for the president and for the professor who is predominantly in the classroom and a dean or director in student affairs I taught at least quarter time, sometimes half time, each quarter But this was part of the basic philosophy This was part of the "All University Approach that teaching was the first mission of the University and that everyone who had the care of faculty, student, and administrative concerns should have some engagement in the classroom and the social center of the University all the time The mixture was different from one person to another
6 Hewitt : t Now given the amount of overlap, in terms of those kinds of responsibilities, how would you characterize the relationships between faculty, administrators, and students in those early days, realizing that many people played more than one of those roles? Fisher : t I think I should regard the concept as being one of interweaving rather than overlapping In others words, the assignments were quite specific, and they worked out There were reasons why you took one particular pattern of assignment rather than another to avoid overlap and to supply the needs of the University as a whole The first principle was the "All University Approach," that you were dealing with a total university and the outlook on it was as a whole This was awfully hard for some faculty members and some students to understand And, of course, everybody wanted to know why we weren't just like Gainesville, and we said it was because we didn't want to be just like Gainesville, we wanted to be better Then they wanted to know if we were going to be better than Harvard I said that Harvard wasn't even in the same league I would say that, by and large, people caught the spirit of the thing--that we were trying to put together the very best university that we could given the present state of the art The interdisciplinary approach was the key We were trying to interweave all the special individual gifts people have into a whole, new, classic university, and that it would be different from others and would accomplish its mission much more efficiently with much more of a sense of camaraderie We would build a cohesive university that would carry along forward planning for its own growth and development very rapidly in a balanced way responsive to the conununity and also capitalizing on the special gifts that it had This meant that in some respects we followed tradition quite closely, in terms of the tradition for professorial rights, although Cooper proposed an
ingenious plan for a different approach, which gets away from alot of the problems you have Again I discussed this in the book I won't go over it again I think most of the people caught on to the idea that we were creating something quite new, unique, and special of which all members and the whole city of Tampa and the whole state of Florida could be proud And of course with all the visitors who came in from all over the country and all over the world to really see what it was doing and to talk with us and to share their ideas with us It was clearly evident for anybody with eyes to see that this was an important step for higher education as a whole, and I think this captured the imagination and spirit of most of the people Hewitt : t Probably ore of the most notorious visitors to the USF campus in those early years was the Johns Committee Fisher : t He wasn't a visitor, he was a guest He was specially invited Hewitt : t Do you think that the visit of the Johns Committee changed the atmosphere on campus in any significant way? Fisher : t I think it caused a great deal of pain and anguish I think that it increased the solidarity of the University concerning the students and faculty The students came forward voluntarily in considerable numbers to the support of the University and its program I think that one of things that I felt about the whole matter was there was so little comprehension of the mission which the University had undertaken and its special, unique place in the whole state system and in the whole system of higher education, generally, in the United States This really was sort of on the cutting edge There was very little understanding of the dual appointment system, for example People couldn't understand how an administrator could possibly 7
8 teach Were they qualified? Alot of these things actually came up in the Johns Committee itself There was very little understanding of what universities were about, the fact that it is a very different kind of institution from a business enterprise or a legislature Oddly enough, business enterprises and legislatures have taken many aspects of their organization and then borrowed from the university, and yet the university is very different from that type of institution All these things came out I'm not at all sure that the explanation helped to clear the air any, but I think that people did get terribly disgusted about the ordeal that the committee put us through As matter of fact, the American Association of University Women, the Tampa chapter and the state organization, went to work actually proposing the cancellation of the Johns Committee, and the legislature responded to the concern of the public But that organization, in particular, came out with fire in their eyes I brought along my appointment book of the first five years just in case you want to fix any dates I noticed my appointment with a couple of ladies who initiated this effort to prevent the Johns Committee or a legislative investigative committee from conducting this kind of witch hunt I was interested in their approach because they were quite well aware that a legislature must have investigative power, but that in the exercise of that necessary function it must also have scrupulous concern for the rights of citizens and for academic freedom when it comes to investigating the affairs of the universities, colleges, and schools in general I think they made the general public very aware of that point and the legislature also I think we should mention that the Tribune and the St Petersburg Times were extremely helpful Sam Mays, one of their prize winning reporters, produced a series of feature stories concerning the Johns Committee That is available in the archives and I think is must reading
9 for anyone wants to know how to handle . I think it is kind of a classic case for anyone who wants to know how to explain to the general public what academic freedom means and where the relationship between state universities and legislatures, along what lines it has to go to strengthen the two mutually It's a beautiful series Mays . I think he did a fine job The press was much concerned and very active And, of course, the committee kind of did itself in with the publication of the "purple pamphlet ." Hewitt : t Going back to student activities for a moment, most big state universities develop their sense of student identities and spirit around intercollegiate athletics, which USF did not do in the early years since intercollegiate athletics and especially football were not a part of the original program How do you think a school like USF, that was basically a commuter school and that didn't have any intercollegiate athletics, went about trying to develop a sense of student identity and student spirit on campus? Fisher : t In the first place, I think the statement that the identity of state universities depends on intercollegiate athletics is certainly open to question Many a cart has got in front of many a patient horse without getting kicked to pieces The thinking on that point was quite clear Howard Johnshoy, I think, was quite candid and spoke with considerable clarity on the fact that the social center of a college, university, cr school, is in a classroom Russell Cooper sang the same song in faculty meetings and with the students as well Certainly I have chimed in on that The social center of the university is the classroom All else is peripheral and should be supportive This, of course, goes back to the reason I came That was because Cooper and Johnshoy had this very clear vision of the interweaving of voluntary associations initiated primarily by students, and faculty too In
1 0 this case, people in the community were also welcome as participants in the associations initiated by members of the University This sort of interweaving with a strengthening of the academic program, as the social center and as the center of the University mission, was what I was interested in That was the "All University Principle"--that this is an academic institution for higher education and this means it must be in teaching and research and that in this enterprise, students contribute ; there is no reason to have a class unless the students are contributing out of their own academic work The heart of the University is the classroom and the encounter of students and teaching Hewitt : t When you worked on designing the residence halls, how did you try and actually put into practice this notion of interweaving student life and classroom activities? Fisher : t Well, unfortunately, the design for the first round of buildings had been done before I came They simply borrowed the standard pattern from Gainesville and put one up 1 did get in on writing a program for Argos Center and then worked on the Andros Complex in terms of writing the program So we really kind of had to try to do the best we could with what we had Dean Johnshoy had advanced a plan for incorporating a classroom as well as lounge, kitchen, and a place for social activities in each of the halls That just couldn't be done That sort of space, under FHA financing, had very limited provisions for what they call non-productive space We could put in any amount that we wanted to at our own expense We did manage to get a small lounge and a meeting room in Alpha Hall But then we regrouped, and when I got here Dean Johnshoy and I in '61 when Jim Dicker came and took over major concern for Business Administration The three of
1 1 us centered on clustering the facilities for academic and social gatherings into a central core building We had the same situation over in Andros until we came up with the fact that we had some unspent construction money, enough to build a classroom building The thought there then was that the students would, in that Complex, would schedule many of their classes, well the classes in two or three related subjects, in that building so that they would have like a little club of their own That didn't work out because there is no way in the world that you can get any considerable number of students to follow the same schedule A schedule is unique to each individual and fits into a long-term program You can't go messing with it for the sake of what you think you can do for the social configuration of the campus But it was a useful building, and it came in handy when we moved the counseling center over there Hewitt : t The College of Basic Studies, which lasted up until the mid-'60s, the idea behind that was that every student should get a general education before they started to specialize in other areas Fisher : t No, that was not the idea Have you read the original catalogue? Well, I suggest that you go read the original catalogue, which is a beautiful document in itself It is a literary work of art Dean French and Dean Cooper described the concept very carefully for the students and faculty I'm sure that some of my colleagues have forgotten, but it has been 25 years ago and we are getting feeble The principal was this, and this was one of the things that Russell Cooper was very firm about, the development of the degree program has to proceed along both lines To get that specialization without a broad, interdisciplinary perspective goes sterile and withers, and concentrating on broad, interdisciplinary studies without having some line
1 2 of future development to follow, of particular personal interest, bores people to tears The general pattern for a degree program was designed so there would be a couple of general, interdisciplinary courses in the degree requirement each of the first two years, electives, and the introductory courses for a major to fill out Probably one general interdisciplinary course in the junior and the capstone courses in senior seminar plus a departmental seminar, too, if the departments wished to have that sort of interdisciplinary encounter in the general field of study So there was a concurrent development of the whole with the interweaving of special, personal interests and the broad, general concerns for civilization in this institution which the general education program addressed Also there was great emphasis on interdisciplinary courses That is, even the courses in the specialties should at least indicate the connection to many related fields So the whole process was conceived as a kind of on-going, integrative process I know that kind of misunderstanding on many students had it in the early days I had to explained it to many of them . why you should not let that advisor persuade you to go in there and take four basic studies courses so you would have that over with That is not the way the program was supposed to work and, yes, I will support your petition to change your program t In other words the concept was an "All University Approach" and again to develop the whole student Hewitt : t That actually sounds much more interesting than what I've heard up till now Fisher : t I think this meant that the College of Basic Studies, the College of Liberal Arts, and the professional colleges all have parallel responsibilities clear through the degree program I think what happened when President Mackey came, he brought in the idea that we really should conform to the state
1 3 system He brought in the idea that the College of Basic Studies was just a freshman school It was a way to get freshman in It was very much the same thing that the general studies program is at Gainesville, which was not the case, and there is a great deal of difficulty in that reorganization in getting the advanced upper level courses that had been developed in Basic Studies because that original core of six or eight courses, that was just the beginning of the College The advanced studies just came right along this . they did in Liberal Arts and other things Now I am not quarreling about the reorganization of the combined College of Basic Studies and Liberal Arts because the fact of the matter is that the concept of the Basic Studies Program was sort of the custodian of interdisciplinary method It turned out to be false that interdisciplinary instruction has its own virtues, advantages, and economies, and it has spread throughout this University You can't swing a cat without hitting an interdisciplinary program of some kind The breakdown was bound to come It had no justification for its existence as a custodian of a method which everybody was using and needed to use I think that the concept of it is just a lower division introductory school was part of the difficulty The other thing, too, was this interarticulation agreement with the junior colleges which kind of made it look like you could go to College of Basic Studies or else to a junior college and get the same thing It's unfortunate because I think the concept of the overall integrated, interwoven development got abolished Hewitt : t People have talked about the dismantling of the College of Basic Studies In some ways, it sounds to me like you are suggesting that although the College itself no longer exists, that it continued to have a real influence on the kind of education that was available at USF
1 4 Fisher : t Well, I've said my say on that And I don't know of a great many people who differ with me Frankly, I think it was not only the College of Basic Studies, which greatly influenced the spread of interdisciplinary instruction throughout the University, but I think the system of our education generally, that interdisciplinary approaches were becoming essential and, if not essential, they were highly prized for their inherent values One of them being the economy and another one being the coverage you could get in a class, particularly in a rapidly growing field where the connections to related areas have got to be explored at the same time that you are investigating special areas of concern So I think this was just part and parcel of the whole trend in the development of higher education, and it just happened that the College of Basic Studies was regarded as its initial expression but, there was not a single college in the University which planned its curriculum in anything but an interdisciplinary light Hewitt : t As the University grew, and it grew very rapidly in that first decade, how did your responsibilities change? Fisher : t In various ways Orientation, for example The responsibility for it got shifted around We got additional assistance The Dean of Men came and his assistant and my assistant as Dean of Women We ran the Attendance Office which was regarded as the truant office, when actually it was a communications center for the University That eventually ran its course We got people aware of the fact that academic work is real work and that you needed to let your colleagues know if you're not going to be there And once we got that established and the University telephone system became more sophisticated, that kind of tailed off We got the Financial Aids Office
1 5 separated out We spent a considerable amount of time on women's concerns and also on student rights and concerns for the minorities We worked a good deal on programs of that sort We still continued the planning for Andros Hall I got more involved with new hiring after 1962 Going over my calendar, I was amazed at how much time I spent out of town I wonder what in the world I did with my classes The basic core of my job held good right up the line in terms of institutional planning, research, and studies We tried desultorily to do special commuter programs We got very much concerned about early intervention, crisis intervention, drug abuse, and suicide programs The counseling center staff carried the major load on that We had an All University Task Force on it But the basic core was program development and evaluative studies I served on a computer council and for all of those years I was on a committee for academic standards The position was essentially one where you had a kind of connection between the academic side and the student life, and the core of it was planning and evaluation Hewitt : You mentioned that you tried to develop some special programs dealing with minority students, women students, and women's rights Since those issues continue to be issues of concern at USF, what sorts of activities or programs did you try and plan as these issues emerged at USF? Fisher : t Well again, I have a chapter in Cooper and Fisher on these matters I tell about the special student program We really made an effort to recruit black students In terms of women's concerns we had, of course, the women's residence halls Their leadership was pretty independent and they sort of took care of alot of these matters, and from time to time we would have various women's councils that would set up special programs We had one
1 6 called W .H .A .T ., Women Here and There, that went two or three years They did the first career development seminar back in '64 or so We did two or three of those We got a Mortar Board Chapter . preliminary chapter . F 6 M was one of the earliest . Mrs Allen spurred this on t We got that going as a prototype and got a charter for that declared, and they took over a considerable amount of programming on women's concerns It was just a whole proliferation of women's groups steering the student uprising We had all kinds of representation of interests and concerns, on reform of the language and what not And there is a very yeasty mixture I was pretty much concerned to insure its development of programs for women that were linked to academic interests and particularly new in developing fields where women are not only welcome, but where they historically have always made a contribution Where they are the fore-mothers and not the camp followers and they, again, were trying to get this sort of thing ironed out into regulations and procedures and everything The Commission on the Status of Women sort of tried to pull the whole thing together in Mackey's day Again, the approach was more regulatory than programmatic The programmatic side is the side I was much more concerned about because of the lasting interests and values And here again, this was not always best served by any separate women's groups There were occasions where women took the lead They had alot of fun They had some wonderful songs that came out of that group, like the sex life of youth, the career aspirations of women, the way in which you work out your household and family plans in advance for who does what, when, and to whom There were some wonderful ones I expect some of those are preserved around the neighborhood We ought to get a little concert together sometime Hewitt : t I've never heard of those before
1 7 Fisher : t Well, that was purely spontaneous One night the lights went out over in Andros area We were having . I don't know, they had gone out to . squeezing orange juice, having a little party The lights went out Somebody had a guitar, and we started singing all these songs and sitting there in the dark while we waited for the lights to come back on Hewitt : When you look back over the first decade that USF was open, what do you think were the most important developments, either positive or negative ones? Fisher : t Well, again I think that the outstanding accomplishment of this University, above all others, was to deliberately create a university which applied interdisciplinary principles and the concept of an integrative institution to teaching, learning, institutional development, and organizational development, to its own life as well as the curriculum I think this stands I know there are alot of people who say that this is a vision that failed, but I'm awfully sorry, the evidence is too strong that this has prevailed and still is one of the things that holds this University together It is one of its outstanding accomplishments If you want some evidence, look at the medical school Hewitt : t Are there any other aspects of USF's early history that you would like people, either now or 25 years from now, to remember that may have gotten lost as we have grown and expanded? Fisher : t There are lots of little touches and anecdotes that you can always tell I remember that we even wrote a song for the Dean of Women staff We had quite a distinguished staff and it was loaded with musicians and poets I
1 8 remember we had a supper one time and they all laid down on the carpet and started writing songs We did sing them in orientation They were very well received and some of them were picked up and sung One went to the Unconquerable Molly Brown That was a very good song We just had more fun I think they ought to remember that the students planted the trees out in the mall because that was an accomplishment There were about 50 or 100 that came over and worked out in the sand It was a cold day in December and the sand was blowing, and we planted everyone of those trees in the mall all the way from Student Services building to the Fine Arts building Of course they weren't there then I think those students ought to be remembered Then there was the first big party that we had after registration That was a big blow out I remember we had limbo, and I was no good at the limbo contest I think it was Priscilla Sellamy, who we later discovered had had quite alot of instruction in music and dance She could limbo better than anybody That was lots of fun There were all sorts of things all over the University Center, except of course, up in the faculty offices which had half of the building tied up But they did a wonderful job on that I remember taking a couple of students and running all over town finding tonga torches We set them up and oddly enough we had a calm night and the tonga torches worked I never expected them to That was a marvelous occasion Faculty and students all together I remember the State Fair in 1961 It must have been around Thanksgiving that President Allen called and wanted to know if I would take charge of the exhibits at the fair We had been given a little booth to pass out catalogues He said that Frank Spain and I should set it up We got down there and it was a fair size exhibit space and we thought we could swing it A week later Gustave Crowder called up and said that he had four more spaces adjacent to ours
1 9 that had just been returned by exhibitors, and he wondered if we could use them for the University I didn't know what we had gotten into I hate fairs You can drag me to Disney World and I can manage to have a good time while I'm there, but I don't really want to go I don't like to be out in wide open spaces with masses of moose milling around I was thinking about what I had got myself into and here 1 am working at a fair t So I trotted up and talked to President Allen, talked to Frank and Dean Johnshoy They said that we should see what we could do, that we could surely do something So I got a committee together, and we just came up with the neatest idea you ever heard I think Bob Fuson was on it, Jim Ray, and I guess it was Foreman over in Physics Well, we had everyone t We had scientists, artists, social scientists And we came up with a different exhibit for that big space everyday and they were all active things that people could do Gary Ickles, who was then in Educational Resources, would run a truck up to Camp Blanding and bring back some useful sort of surplus that we could use ; little boxes of this and that, graphs, continuous tape projectors, and we had all sorts of things We had a volcano We had the Theater Department there and they made-up everybody there They made people up to their choice of several characters from a play they were doing We had closed circuit television We had that continuously because people like to talk back and forth to each other and see themselves appear One of the things that made a hit was the t apparatus where you look in a mirror and trace a star by looking in a mirror and you can't see your hand That made such a hit I think everybody at the fair tried that and giggled and laughed at each other So we left that up continuously We had copies of all the paperbacks that were used in the Basic Studies courses We didn't get all of those back I suspect some students got their textbooks for the
OPRIPC5 2 0 next term there Of course we gave out alot of catalogues and applications, and I'll bet it was more fun than a little bit and every night Manuel Duran and me and there were several people involved, we would meet out here and load up the next day's exhibit in a van and they would toot off down there and put in place and haul the next one out and check it all out and make sure it was in working order It was a ball We had more fun, and talk about pulling the faculty and the students together and getting the public interested It turned out to be a great thing I still hate fairs, but I enjoyed doing that one It was a good thing Hewitt : t That's a wonderful story It does seem to pull together all the different pieces of interweaving programs, public concerns, students, faculty and administrators together and I want to thank you for sharing that with us this afternoon