Phyllis P. Marshall

Phyllis P. Marshall

Material Information

Phyllis P. Marshall
Series Title:
Carlton-Anthony Tampa oral history project
Marshall, Phyllis P
Austell, David B
University of South Florida Libraries -- Florida Studies Center. -- Oral History Program
University of South Florida -- Tampa Library
University of South Florida -- Resource Center for Florida History and Politics. -- Oral History Program
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
University of South Florida Tampa Library
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 sound file (43 min.) : digital, MPEG4 file + ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Educational exchanges ( lcsh )
International education ( lcsh )
Oral history. ( local )
Online audio. ( local )
Oral history ( local )
Online audio ( local )


Phyllis Marshall, former Director of the Phyllis P. Marshall University Center (Student Union) of the University of South Florida, discusses international affairs and international educational exchange at USF.
Interview conducted on July 17, 1998.
Original Version:
Original version: VHS videocassette.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web
System Details:
Streaming audio.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
028972151 ( ALEPH )
238373976 ( OCLC )
U11-00016 ( USFLDC DOI )
u11.16 ( USFLDC Handle )

Postcard Information



This item has the following downloads:

Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 standalone no
record xmlns http:www.loc.govMARC21slim xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.loc.govstandardsmarcxmlschemaMARC21slim.xsd
leader nim 2200457Ia 4500
controlfield tag 001 028972151
005 20140208103515.0
006 m d
m h
007 sz zunnnnnzned
cr nna||||||||
008 080805s1998 fluuunn sd t n eng d
datafield ind1 8 ind2 024
subfield code a U11-00016
0 033
b 3934
1 100
Marshall, Phyllis P.
Phyllis P. Marshall
h [electronic resource] / interviewed by Dr. David B. Austell, Jr.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 sound file (43 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 transcript (digital, PDF file)
Carlton-Anthony Tampa oral history project
Interview conducted on July 17, 1998.
Mode of access: World Wide Web
Streaming audio.
p Original version:
n VHS videocassette.
Phyllis Marshall, former Director of the Phyllis P. Marshall University Center (Student Union) of the University of South Florida, discusses international affairs and international educational exchange at USF.
Marshall, Phyllis P.
2 610
University of South Florida.
Educational exchanges.
International education.
7 655
Oral history.
Online audio.
Austell, David B.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
Tampa Library
University of South Florida.
Resource Center for Florida History and Politics.
Oral History Program.
4 856


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


Interview with: Phyllis Marshall Interviewed by: Dr. David B. Austell, Jr. Location: Tampa, Florida Date: July 17, 1998 Transcribed by: N/A Audit Edited by: N/A Final Edit by: N/A A:=Dr. David B. Austell, Jr. M:=Phyllis Marshall A: Good morning. My name is Dr. David Austell, and I'm Director of International Student and Scholar Services, here at the University of South Florida. Tampa Campus. Today we're here as a part of the University of South Florida Library System, the Tampa Campus, and especially their oral history project. Specifically, our topic has to do with international affairs, and the history of international affairs at the University of South Florida. We're trying to get at the history and nature of international educational exchange from the very beginning years here at the university. It's my great delight to present to you Ms. Phyllis Marshall, who was the former Director of the Phyllis P. Marshall Center, the University Center, the student union, of the University of South Florida. Phyllis, delighted to see you. Thank you for coming this morning. M: Thanks, David. A: And I'm just gonna pose a few questions about the uh... M: Um hum, that's the best way. A: ...the early days. M: Okay. A: And I want to start that way. Can you tell us a little bit about what was your work here at the University of South Florida, especially related to international students? M: I believe it was in 1963 or `64, I was the Director of Student Organizations at the time. And we had a new vice president come in whose name was Herbert J. Wunderlich. At that time it was called Dean of Students, not Vice President, the


Dean of Students come in. He had assigned Dr. Decker to working with international students. We didn't have any international students. The first year here, we only had 1,900 students, or a little over 1,900. So we didn't have international students per se, in the very beginning, but they could tell; they were getting applications. So he assigned Dr. Decker, who was in his area. Then a little while later, Dr. Decker went to another institution up north. And he brought in Dr. Chuck Wilde as the head of the international student program, and also Dean of Men. You know, in that day and time everybody wore several hats. So Dean Wilde's secretary-he inherited Mrs. Mildred Singletary--who was also Dr. Decker's secretary. And so he was able to have Millie to be his secretary, and also to help him with the international students. Then it was decided in `63, `64, I can't remember which year, that the international students would be transferred over to our office, which was Student Organizations. It was an interesting approach to put it with other students. And I think that was their main thought, that if we put these over where students are involved, maybe international students will become more of the part of the campus. So anyway, they also gave me Mildred Singletary. Mildred Singletary, I had to be the director, and she had to be the assistant or the secretary, because she was not academically qualified to hold a position of a director. So she really did all the work. And I just was there in name only to assist and so forth. But we started, but in the very beginning there was no housing for international students. And so they stayed in faculty homes. They would come and stay in faculty homes, and so forth. Until we grew large enough to have areas on the campus that would be able to house the international students. But that was the beginning. So I think that, I didn't understand it at the time that it would work so well in the Center where it was the center of life, or we hoped would be the center of life for students, but it did. It worked very well, and I think it helped the international students to be able to adjust to campus living and so forth. They had a home. A: And that is true even now, because the now International Student and Scholar Services is still located in the Phyllis P. Marshall Center, central to the campus and hopefully central to the lives of the students and faculty here. M: And I think that's very important. A: It's been I think very helpful. M: I hope they never move it because, I know that many years they've talked about having an international student center, and that separates them, and I would prefer to see them remain a part of the total campus.


A: Phyllis, I want to go back a little bit to the earliest years. M: Okay. A: You were speaking about Dean Wunderlich and Dr. Decker. Now this was previous to 1963. M: Yes. A: That's the year that you recollect that the changeover occurred. M: It was either `63 or `64. Dr. Decker was here before Dean--we had a, the first Dean of Students was Howard Jonshoy. And he hired Dr. Decker as Dean of Men, and Dr. Margaret Fisher as Dean of Women. And then when Dr. Jonshoy left--and I think it was `63. It may have been `62--but when Dean Jonshoy left, then Dr. Allen, who had known Dr. Wunderlich at K. State, he brought him to the university and then that's the way it started. And so then he hired Dr. Wilde, and then of course Millie got hired in the very beginning, as a secretary over in Student Affairs. Does that give you the...? A: Yeah, that's good background. And that means if it were `63 or so, the university then had not really been open more than what, five or six years... M: No, no--come on. We opened in 1960, September of 1960 with nineteenhundred and, I think it was nineteen-hundred and seven, or twenty-seven students. A: So, three years after door's opened, here we have a situation where there's a transition from the Administrative Office to the the University Center and Student Activities. With you. M: Yes. A: Phyllis, tell us a little bit about those initial years, what you can remember about previous to when it came to the U.C. What were some of your earliest recollection about internationals at that time. How many were there? What were their lives like? M: Well there were very few. Because we were such a young institution that was unknown. We were the first--I'm trying to think what it was--we were the first fullfledged university in the United States in ever so many years. Because we came as a university; we didn't come and were built on, but we came as a full-fledged


university. And so in the beginning we maybe had, maybe five international students. Not in the very beginning of the institution, but maybe in just a few years. We started with five or ten. Something like that. And then moved up. Mainly these were students that were informed, probably, of faculty. Because the faculty came from everywhere. And so probably from faculty, and um friends, or something like that, that made them aware of the University of South Florida in Tampa. So that's the way, and I used to hear the faculty talking about keeping the students and you know, how exciting it was, and sometimes how many problems they had. Because of the language barriers, for many people. A: And the students at that time stayed in the homes of faculty members, primarily? M: Stayed in the homes of faculty or friends in the community, yes indeed. A: Wow. M: And I think Millie will be able to tell you about the very first students. But I remember Pete Agdamag who became a very strong leader for his fraternity, Phi Delta Theta. Which was at that--before that, it was Arete --but he was an international student that did get involved in the university community. And so, and then I think there was another student from Cuba. And so that was probably a friend--I remember a faculty person in physical education from Cuba. So I don't know whether friends, or you know, people like that get the word around. But that was the beginning, and so I, at that time I was looking for a fraternity advisor. Because the fraternity system was growing. When Dr. Jonshoy came, you couldn't call--he said we weren't gonna have fraternities and sororities on this campus. And so the students couldn't use Greek names of their organizations. So after he left, then Dr. Wunderlich said students want to be in groups, so therefore let's let them. And so then the names changed from all these strange names to Greek names. And so we brought in a gentleman from the University of Tennessee named Joe Busta. To work with with fraternity system, and also to work with the international student program. So he worked with that for probably a year. Then he was a reservist in one of the services, and so he had to leave for summer to go. And so while he was gone, we tentatively put Millie in charge. And so when he came back, then he had other duties he had to do, and he was starting to work on his Ph.D. and so forth. So I continued to be the Director, I would assume, but Millie was really the person. But we couldn't, because of not having academic qualifications at the time, we couldn't make her the director. But we worked on that and worked on it. But she continued to develop the program. It was a most interesting program. And with the, she had a wonderful way of working with the faculty and so forth, and getting their


support. And so that was really the beginning and she is the backbone of the international student program here. A: And the first person that I met when I came to Tampa. M: Was Mildred Singletary. A: Back in `93. Yeah, really. M: Yes. And Mark Orr has had, you know, a tremendous amount--giving her support all these years. And a gentleman down in Engineering; because many of our students were for Engineering--College of Engineering. And then later Tom Ness in the College of Business. Because so many of our students come from international life for professional schools. They want to go to Engineering, or in the College of Business. But in the beginning, really heavy into the engineering area. A: Phyllis, then only a few years passed before the program--from the time the university opened to the time the international program transitioned into the University Center, later the Phyllis Marshall Center. Now, this means that you were responsible, with Millie, in designing the program from the beginning. M: Right. A: You've indicated that the program really was not in place before it came to the University Center. M: That's correct. A: Can you look back now and tell us a little bit about the designing of the program, and what the program was like. M: Well I think both Millie and myself have always been very concerned about students. And we wanted to be sure that whatever we developed would help those students to adjust to a new country, and a new environment. So we made sure, in talking with international students, what the most important things were. And then of course Millie, almost immediately, organized the group of students to do the social activities and different things in organizing the program. Got the students involved in helping her. And helping us. To be sure that we went down the right track in the development of the student program. Both socially as well as academically.


A: What was the staff like at that time, other than you and Millie? M: Period. That's all. That's all there was, David. And I had to get money for international students from the student activity fees. That's very difficult because we have to get them to understand that these are part of the student body--student enrollment, or whatever--but they need to have special help because of all the things they go through in order to come here to school. The best thing we could do was to be able to try to encourage some of the international students to become a part of the Student Senate. So that they could be seen, and then when it came up budget time or so forth, they could speak to the issues that were of concern to the students. And year after year after year, we would try to get students involved in some of the areas that would assist them in having the things that they needed to continue with the program. That's the way we started, and I didn't feel that financially we had the support from anybody else but just our own people. They just sort of gave us the program, said "Okay, you do it. You develop it. You pay for it." The university didn't look at us, didn't ever ask any questions about it. Millie and I could have hung the moon and they would not have known the difference. But uh, I guess that's called trust. And I think that Millie and I both appreciated that opportunity. And during that there was nobody hanging over us, telling us no you can't do that, yes you can't do that, so we just did it. And just went full ahead. We were known as risk takers in all, areas. A: Heh. M: But, that's the only way we could get ahead. We never did anything wrong, but we just knew where we wanted to go, and what we needed to do. And so we went forward. It was, Millie probably worked in that position for at least 12 years before she ever had any, even clerical assistance. We were able occasionally to give her a student assistant for a little while. But we just didn't have those kind of things then. I mean it just wasn't available. We were still small, and the monies all had to go somewhere else and so forth. So. Anyway. But she prodded and got it all done, but the--she was so good with the international students, that they didn't mind waiting. They didn't mind if it was two days late, or, but it very seldom ever was. But if something happened, and so what did we do while Millie went on vacation? We went wild, heh heh heh. A: Heh heh heh. M: We'd say now Millie be sure and take your time when there are no international


students here, heh heh. But no, but it was--I want to say that if anybody wants to know anything about the international student program, Mildred Singletary is the person really to uh, advance. But we started in the Center and I hope that we will remain in the Center. A: I was able to watch you in action, as well. M: Oh, heh heh. A: Because as I recall, you chaired the search committee that brought me to the University of South Florida in 1993, in the summer. M: Yes. A: And I was lucky enough to be able to sit at your feet for that first year. Here. Before your retirement in 1994. And I know personally how you worked with the international students here, and how you interacted with them. How you supported them. And cared about them... M: Oh yes. A:, Phyllis. Every step of the way then, you've been observant and involved with the lives of the students. Directly with their lives here. And, so you've seen changes all along the way. And I'm wondering, in the early years, when the program first came over to the old University Center, what are your perceptions, or were your perceptions about the lives of the students? What were their lives like here? What challenges did they have? What particular happinesses did they run across, as foreign students, here in Tampa, Florida? M: Well, some of those early years were volatile years. You know, with the Vietnam War and so forth. That was a difficult time for them because they were international. And then--but housing probably was the most--because you know, they come from different cultures. And they have different habits. And they do different kinds of cooking. And so it was very difficult then. And then transportation. We didn't have the best transportation then, and you know we had so many students that were, you know, one of the programs that you and I worked on diligently was insurance. Because we had so many students that were hurt on bicycles, because that's all they had. And we worried about those kind of things. How can we protect these students from what might happen to them. And then the notifying, if something happens to a student here in this country, the notifying of their parents abroad, or wherever, and trying to handle those situations. I think those were the things that were uh, hurt your heart so much--was trying to make


sure that somebody cared. Somebody cared. But generally we organized a program which is, we would try to get faculty and staff to select a friend. Which would be an international student. And that was great, that was so successful. And I had, sometimes I'd have two or three friends. But all you did was make sure that you were available for them to talk with, and take them out to lunch, or take them out to dinner, or invite them for your Thanksgiving dinner, or something like that. To make them feel that somebody did care. And then I know that um, the president's secretary became an international friend, and she called me said, "Oh Phyllis, what do I do about this one?" She had a little girl from China. And she was experiencing a relationship with another student and this girl was asking the secretary questions. And I said "Let me tell you something. You have two grown children now, don't you?" And she said "Yes," and I said "Treat her just like you'd treat your child." And it was wonderful to see that. And when the girl graduated, her family came from China. And they got to be entertained by her friend. And I'm sure they have been friends ever since. I know I have been with my international friends. A: Phyllis, you mentioned that that particular student was Chinese. Can you recall if she was from Taiwan, or... M: Nope. A: From mainland China? Isn't that interesting. About what year would that have been? M: Oh gosh, it must have been `93, `92. A: By that time Chinese students from the mainland would have been coming here, again. Very interesting. M: But if you want to talk to, in this, in this process of history, if you want to talk to someone who has been an international friend to a student and experienced all kinds of things, then I would recommend this woman. A: Okay. Phyllis, talk a little bit about the American Friends program, and how it was conceived. How did you recruit volunteers to come into the program, and what were the kind of relationships that existed between the American friends and the foreign students? M: We tried to get faculty and staff. Those were what we were earmarking. And so many of these faculty and staff had been involved at other institutions. And had been friends of internationals. And of course Mark Orr would help to get some


people over. But that's the way, you just go, all I ever did, and Millie did too I'm sure, was mouth to mouth. The best kind of communication to get people involved is to go talk to them personally and say "Hey, it's fun." You get to meet and understand, and everything. And I told Millie one year, I said "Millie, I'd like to have a woman for a change." You know. So she called me and said "Phyllis, we have this wonderful Rotary Scholarship coming from Finland." I said "Oh, that would be great." Well, when she arrived, she arrived with a husband and two children! A: Heh heh heh. M: So I had a family friend heh heh. It was wonderful. Had to help her find, eh they had brought a car with them, or had it shipped over. And they decided they wanted an American car. And then we had to find them an apartment, and then find schools for the children, and be sure that she could get back and forth to work. There was an awareness there though that, I went to talk to the former president of the university's wife, Mrs. Allen. Because this is a Scandinavian country. And I didn't quite understand the husband. And so I went to talk to her, and she informed me that probably the males were still in control in Finland, as well as some of the other Scandinavian countries. Because I kept seeing the woman doing everything, and the man not doing so much but just enjoying his new car, and so... A: And she was the student. M: She was the student. At the end of that year, she had--well pretty soon, I didn't feel welcomed by him. I think he felt that I was teaching his wife too many bad heh heh tricks. But I didn't think I was doing anything, but I had them for Christmas dinner and Thanksgiving and all those kind of things. But the end of the year, she would have liked to have stayed another year, but I talked to some of the people who give those Rotary scholarships to our students who go abroad. And they said Phyllis, that can't happen again, don't encourage her. And I said okay. A: The cultural part of the work that we do with international students is so interesting. And always informs the way the particular student is going to interact with our country, the State of Florida, Tampa, the University of South Florida. And I'm wondering how the perceptions were, in your experience Phyllis, that the students had, coming from various countries, of the University of South Florida, of the United States, and how those perceptions might have changed over the years. You talked about the war years in the 60s, how that was a difficult time, and a peculiar time for the internationals to be here. I wonder what their perceptions


might have been like of our country, and how that might have changed over the years. M: I think it's improved. I think it's improved. I think the crisis years made them feel unwanted. I think that that was the real problem. And you know, "We need to educate our own, we don't need to educate those from abroad," there was that feeling. And "My son's over there fighting," and "why should we encourage others to come here when we need to work with our own." But then, that all quieted down and we became a loving--again. And I feel now that it's gotten better. I don't know since I left, but I always felt it was coming up. And I was not embarrassed to ask people to help with the international program or anything; I knew I wasn't gonna get turned down. And probably one of the groups that has helped over the years was the University of South Florida Women's Club. They would always try to do things for the international students. And the religious centers--especially the Baptist Student Center--would try to do things for the international students. I think probably though the largest problem we had, when we finally got them in the residence halls--and Millie and I fought this forever; I don't know that we ever succeeded. Maybe a little bit. At the holidays, now these kids can't go home. And if they aren't invited to somebody's home. But they couldn't. They would close the dorms down and tell everybody they had to move their stuff out. And that was just so sad. And you wanted to take them all home with you but you couldn't. You didn't have room. But you worked very diligently finding places for those students to go. But every year we would sweat that out. A: Oh. M: You know, it was just--summertime? They, "Well we're closing this hall. If you're gonna live here, you have to move--" There was not, you know, not the, we didn't feel the interest that we had in those students that other people did [in other people]. They were only thinking about business. And so it really was very difficult. A: What were some of the other challenges that you and Millie might have faced that related to the presence of internationals on the campus. In general, you're saying that the attitudes were improving over the years, and were often very good. Now were there particular challenges that you faced? M: Let me just go back to housing a minute. Then, later they arranged to have international floors. In the halls. So I said "Oh my Lord, we finally have come about." But other challenges--well always food. Because you know, some of them


have special diets that they don't want to--so they wanted to cook their own food. And there wasn't a place here in the building that they could cook, but we would try to find--we would try to talk to whoever was in charge of food service at the time to see if we could arrange some things. But then we started having international nights. You know. And that really helped. To create, to give these students an opportunity to create their food, their kind of food representing their culture. And it became a very popular program. And you could go and somebody said, "Oh Phyllis the Health Department's gonna come get you," heh, and I said, "Would you please forget it, and let's just enjoy this food." So we always had somebody out there saying they were gonna get us for something. But it gave the students to make a little money for their organization--because by that time they had individual organizations--to make a little money, and also to be proud of what they had presented. A: A few years back I was on the Housing Task Force that was examining all aspects of housing here on campus. And I was representing the international perspective. M: Interest. A: Um hum, and their interest, and working with a group of hand picked internationals who could articulate... M: Yes. A: ...specific needs related to housing. And it won't surprise you a bit that the issue of food was one of the first things. M: Yes, yes. A: As far as on-campus housing, if there is a place that we can come to, to cook the way we want to cook... M: That's it. A: some things don't change. Heh heh. M: Nope. And they never will--and we have to--but you know what? We have to understand that, and we have to make those accommodations available. And that's what--it was just like a day care center. You know in those days. Or the language-Millie saw the need--for the families to be educated. To be able to speak. So she


was able to get these wonderful people in the community to volunteer their services to teach English. Or to teach math, or to teach whatever, where ever the student's were having their difficulty. To provide that opportunity. I go to the hairdresser now, and I run into this woman, she said "Well Phyllis, we're doing this dinner for all your international students at the Baptist Church here in Temple Terrace." It's still going on. And so those wives that come with the husbands that are--whether they're teaching, whether he's a professor or whether they're a student--they have an opportunity now; they can go to the Center, they can go to the international student office in the Center, and ask for help. For their siblings or whatever. And I know that you all are going to have an opportunity to help them. Is that not true? A: Right, right, it's true. M: I think that our program has really, it's not only developed, but it's become personal. And caring. And, we never lost that, David, and I hope it never loses--I hope it doesn't become a business. Because when it becomes a business, when the most important thing that we do in an office is count the money and count the chairs, instead of looking in the eyes of the people, it's gonna be sad. A: We've worked hard to keep that vision... M: And don't lose it. A: ...that you and Millie put forward, Phyllis. And it is a struggle... M: It is. A: ...because nowadays, related to the immigration laws of the United States... M: I know it. A: we have to work very hard to try to keep that human aspect in the forefront. And we're struggling, we're trying. M: I know it. A: We always want to keep that there. M: But just remember that struggle is worth it. I got a call the other day from one of my international friends. He got his Ph.D., and is now teaching down in South Florida. And his mother was here, and she was speaking English better. He always


fussed at her because she couldn't speak English, because he speaks it so well. But he said "You know, I miss the university." A: Um hum. M: And I said "Well, Loubo you need to--" his contract ends next year. A: Right. M: I said "You can't break your contract. You're here in this country and you've got everything arranged, you have your green card and everything. But you don't want to ruin your reputation by leaving a job before you have completed what you said you would complete. After that, or before that even, you can start planning and sending out your resumes to universities. And you'll make it alright." So, anyway. But you know that's, that's so good to see and hear, and see how they progress. And well Farah Khorsandian Sanchez who is one of your staff members was one of our students, and she's just unbelievable. And she was our director at one time, and so forth. I believe she was probably our first--was she our first, after Millie? A: Millie and then Farah. Right. M: Yeah. And of course she was trained by Millie. So she met her husband here. And so forth. So it's just really been--probably one of the most exciting parts of my life has been working with those students and getting to know them and getting to feel like, that some way we've helped. A: Phyllis, we have a few more minutes. And I want to return again if we can to those early years. M: Okay. A: And to hear a few more reminiscences about Dean Wunderlich, Dr. Decker. I'm interested--I don't know those names, and I'd like you to remember a little bit about them and what they did related to international students here. M: Well, Dean Jonshoy was here for I believe just two years--I mean after the university opened. And then they brought in--Dean Jonshoy was um, had not been a family man. He was a single man. And he had worked with students, but his personality wasn't like Dean Wunderlich. When Dean Wunderlich came as the Vice Pres--I mean as the Dean of Students. He later became the Vice-President, that's the reason I always get that confused. But he came as the Dean of Students.


This was a very caring man. Who had been accustomed to international students, and understood international students. But he gave me my opportunity to become--I was program director of the Center--and then he gave me the opportunity to be director of student organizations. And I think from that he saw how we were working and so forth, and decided that if the international student program was going to get some attention, it would have to be from that area. Rather than from his area because they had other things--business things--that they had to do. And that it's very difficult for students to the Ad building, the Administration building for anything, you know. In those days, that would be scary for an international student, or just a regular student to get a message, please come and see Dean Wunderlich. Or Dean Wilde, or whatever. So, I think that that was his idea, of moving them over to the Center. And he said "Now Phyllis, I'm gonna give you Millie. And she's a wonderful woman, and she will do everything for you. So you all just go ahead and develop a good program. Just keep me informed." And so I met with him weekly. And I would just tell him what we were doing. "That's very fine," and "how about the other part of your life," and so forth and so on. So, he was a most strong supporter of the things we did and the way we did them. But we never bothered him to say "Well what do you think about us doing this?" We just went forward, and then afterwards I would just say to him, "Well Dean Wunderlich we've decided this is what we're going to do, in order to progress in this program." He said, "Move right ahead." So, you see all my life that's the kind of directions I've had uh, is go forward your way. And so that was helpful. But he came and participated in the international programs all the time. He would come and meet the students when we'd have them come in, in the early days and so forth--because we didn't have that many, so. But he was always supportive. But he had no money. A: Oh. Yeah. M: So he couldn't give us money. He gave me the secretary so he thought that was big money. A: Thus the need to work with student activity fees to try to bolster the program... M: Yes. A: ...and get the program running. M: Yes. A: Phyllis what about Dr. Decker, that you mentioned. What was his role?


M: He was Dean of Men. And I don't know, I didn't spend that much time with him. Of course he was not here that long. A: But he had some involvement with the internationals at some point. M: Yes. But Millie will know more about that because she worked directly with him. But I wasn't involved until after he left. So I did not know that. But to see-how many students do you have now, David? A: Twelve-hundred. M: And to see that we started out with about three to five. In probably 1963. Then you can see that over the years things--do you know, have you ever, you've looked I'm sure--do you know the areas, I know now we have students in education. International students in education. We never had one in any other area but--and now we have some in medicine, don't we. A: Yeah, of course. There is a handful of our students in the medical school. Growing numbers in the College of Education. A few of these have even filtered out to do their student teaching in Hillsborough county. It's most interesting to see how that's beginning to broaden. M: Those students--can I ask you a question? A: Of course. M: The students that are in education now, do they plan to say in, do they wish to stay here or are they going back to their country to share? A: It depends. Right now there are only a handful of students in various areas of education. Some I think aspire, maybe, as I mentioned before, to do student teaching--practicum--here in Hillsborough and then see what transpires. Some don't. They want to train here and then go back to the home country to use that in education there. M: Well, that's what I was hoping. And I would think that that is what Dr. Orr... A: Yeah, yeah. M: Be sure in your conversation with Dr. Orr, because he got the students involved


in the Model U.N. before they organized their own--uh, Millie organized the International Student Organization, I believe it was called. What was it called? A: The International Cultural Organization. ICO? M: ICO. She organized that, and that was wonderful. But then, they grew and they wanted to have their own individual groups. And so now they have individual groups, and I don't know whether ICO is still involved. A: Still going strong, Phyllis. M: And that I think is great because I see that as the over, you know all of these other to try to have some continuity. That was our dream in the beginning. That-just like the religious groups. We would have religious counsel, and then under it would be all the different--you know, not under it as such, but working with it, would be. And ICO is sort of the same thing, as sort of a representative from all of those groups working to be sure they don't all have something on the same day; their scheduling as well as fundraising and all of that. So, I'm glad to see it progressing. A: Phyllis I have a question that might interest you. And that is one that doesn't look back. But it looks forward. Can you tell us a little bit about what you think the future might hold? For international students, international visiting faculty members, international educational exchange here at the University of South Florida? M: I hope we have more exchange programs. International exchange, because I think that the only way our country is going to understand other cultures [is] if they experience it and then come back and share it. And I think that's most important. Another, what do I see in the future? Well probably we're gonna grow so large that we're going to have to think of having another area for students. And I know the international students would love an international house. I visited the international center at the University of Hawaii, and if it could be something like that--but I don't, I just hope David that it never cuts off people. Uh, that you don't have to be international to go there; that you can be anyone to go there. I foresee that that will happen. That some time there will be an International Center. I think that our President, as well as many of the faculty here, are interested in moving forward with the international program. And I think it's only right. I'm happy to see how many--that we've increased to this. But I think it will be in the thousands. Eventually.


A: Yes, we've had steady growth for the five years that I've been here now. Phyllis, I want to thank you so much for joining us this morning. It's wonderful to see you again. I really appreciate your comments. M: My pleasure. What better thing is there for me to do than talk about the past. The future I see--but the past is always--you know, very few people get an opportunity to go into a university at its ground level, and to see it grow all the years. And be so accepted. That was one thing that if, whatever I was doing, it was acceptable because I was accepted. So whatever I did was acceptable. That makes a difference, so remember that, David. A: Thank you Phyllis. M: My pleasure.


Download Options

Choose Size
Choose file type
Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.