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Lander History Exhibit on Display in Jackson Library

Lander University student Abagail Smith, left, and Houston Moore, right, stand with Associate Professor of History Dr. Franklin Rausch and the mobile history exhibit they worked on in his class.

A mobile history exhibit depicting Lander University through the ages is on display in the lobby of the Larry A. Jackson Library.

The exhibit, previously displayed in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, was created by students in Associate Professor of History Dr. Franklin Rausch’s Memory and Memorialization class, who utilized images from Lander’s yearbook, The Naiad, published from 1923 to 1991. Students in the class were broken up into groups, with each group focusing on a different decade.

The Memory and Memorialization course is part of Lander’s Public History program, which prepares students for careers in environments such as museums and historic sites. History faculty hope to display the exhibit at local businesses and community events after it leaves the library.

Rausch said the assignment came about as the result of a conversation he had with History Department Chair Dr. Ryan Floyd, who suggested doing something in the Memory and Memorialization class in recognition of Lander’s 150th anniversary celebration.

“I tried to think of ideas of how to do that while giving the students experience and stumbled on the digitized yearbooks,” he said.

Rausch said his students appeared to like the assignment, and they agreed.

“I enjoyed the project. It was nice to look through old yearbooks and see how much Lander has changed,” said Houston Moore, a junior history major from Chapin.

Moore, whose emphasis is Public History, said he would like to work as a researcher or archivist. “I think being a curator for a museum would be really fun. I just think history is fun, in general.”

Abagail Smith, a senior history major from Greenwood, said that working on the exhibit deepened her knowledge of Lander. She learned “even more,” she said, by working alongside Director of Library Services Lisa Wiecki and Associate Director of Library Services Dr. David Mash, whose new book, “Lander University,” is due out in April.  

She said she finds Lander’s history “fascinating.”