Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Best Laid Plans....

Three months into a monthly trawl through student  newspapers to celebrate forty years of the Southern Highlands Research / Special Collections, and a dearth of newspapers from March, prompts a quick rethink. This month's blog therefore is a look back to 1977/78, the first academic year in the life of the Southern Highlands Research Center, seen through the pages of the university yearbook, Summit '78.

We noted in the January blog, that on campus parking is a perennial problem (Proving the point, it is the cover story in this weeks' Blue Banner) and it warranted a page in Summit '78.

The days of "paying $5.00 for a parking sticker" are long gone, and although there is no explanation of the car on the pole, this seems more likely to have been a marketing device, rather than an approved parking spot. Though why someone placed the car in the woods, is a mystery.

Summit '78 has a good (albeit slightly tongue in cheek) description of the registration process: Much standing in line, signing forms, and getting approved, all without a computer. Though we suspect that many current students would forgo online registration if they could pay 1977 fees!

Changes in technology are also apparent in the photographs of dorm life, that indicate that a small portable, probably black and white, TV with a telescopic aerial was the entertainment.

One thing that we like to think has been left in the 1970s, is the attitude of the "letters home", although we fear that it has not.

Summit '78 was not all about campus life. One page had images of the severe flooding in the fall of 1977, while, on a much happier note, there were also pictures of the "biggest and best" Asheville Christmas Parade.

We end, slightly self indulgently, with a page about the library. The required Bibliography course, is no longer required, but the "large red doors" remain. Online resources were still things of the future in the late 1970s, and there was no mention of the newly opened Southern Highlands Research Center, tucked away somewhere in the basement. Oh well.