In honor of McDowell Technical Community College’s 50th Anniversary this year, the college will host the opening of a photography exhibit containing a mixture of photographs from the college’s first 35 years. The opening will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 3:30-4:30 pm in the lobby and adjacent hallways of the Cedar Building. Additional photos will be on display on the first floor of the Harold Smith Building.
The event is free and open to the public. Cake and punch will be served. As an added treat, attendees at the opening will get to see many students, faculty and staff dressed in costumes from the 1960’s as part of the college’s Fall Festival, which is taking place at other times on the same day.
Dr. John Gossett, MTCC President, will make opening remarks at the beginning of the event.
“We had a number of photos and historical documents that were destroyed last year when a hot water line broke and saturated a storage room over an entire weekend. However, we have approximately 300 or so photos, slides and large format negatives that we had professionally scanned to include in this exhibit,” said Michael Lavender, who chaired the college’s 50th Anniversary Committee. Lavender is Director of External Relations at the college.
With the help of work-study students, college staff is in the process of making large collages of the photos, which are in various shapes and sizes, depending on the time period in which they were taken and the format in which they were stored. “We have old square photos, 4 by 6 photos and a number of other sizes,” said Lavender, “but we are trying to increase the size of each one a little bit for easier viewing.”
Folks who attended McDowell Tech during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s will likely recognize themselves in one or more photos. “Even though I wasn’t born until 1965, I was able to recognize several of the folks,” Lavender said. Unfortunately, he added, individuals in the photos were not identified when the photos were originally taken, so folks will have to find themselves, friends or relatives by sight, not name.
In addition to the photos, there will be a few drawings of the campus and old newspaper articles on display during the opening.
As a way to reach out to students, employees and campus visitors, the college’s technology staff will also play a video on televisions around campus. It will contain most of the photos from the photography exhibit; a historical video by Claudia Ward, a Communications Instructor at the college; and a mixture of old television commercials or videos produced by MTCC over the years.
On Wednesday, Oct. 25, the college will make the video available on YouTube and Facebook for those who weren’t able to attend the opening. The photo exhibit itself will remain in place until next spring.