Project 100

Project 100

Project 100

Welcome to the Department of History’s “Project 100,” the collection and sharing of one hundred memories by Glassboro State College and Rowan University alumni and staff.   One memory was released each day in the 100 days leading up to October 20, 2023, the date of the reunion that celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of Glassboro Normal School, later Glassboro State College, and now Rowan University.  The reunion took place at the Summit City Farm and Winery in Glassboro, New Jersey.

You can browse these interviews either alphabetically or chronologically.  William Carrigan arranged, interviewed, transcribed and/or edited these memories.  If you wish to learn more about his process for this project, scroll down to the bottom of this page.  After the reunion, the interview project continued under title Project 100+.  Those interviews are located on a separate page.  If you wish to be interviewed and share your own memories through this ongoing program, please email him at

Alphabetical List of Project 100 Alumni Interviewees
Alphabetical List of Project 100 Faculty and Staff Interviewees

The Origins of Project 100 and Details on the Production of the Interviews 

In the summer of 2022, I formed an alumni reunion steering committee to help me plan two reunions.  The first one was to be coordinated with Rowan’s Centennial and will be held this October 20th.   The second reunion will take place in 2027 and will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Rowan’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta.  The idea for Project 100 arose during a breakfast meeting of this steering committee on the morning of Rowan’s 2022 Homecoming.  Over the next nine or so months, I arranged, interviewed, transcribed and/or edited the initial drafts of the memories.  Some interviews were done in person, but most were done remotely via videoconference or the phone.  Aiming to emulate the readability of the interviews published by the great oral historian Studs Terkel, I typed as the interview progressed, reading back the text from time to time.  I then emailed this draft and invited each interviewee to edit as much as they wished of this version of the memory.  Some chose to do significant editing.  Others chose to do little.  After they returned the memory, alumni reunion steering committee member Laurie Lahey (‘04) proofread and edited these final versions for usage and grammatical issues.  

About the Interviewees and Their Memories

Several factors helped me find and select the folks I interviewed.  As I was interested in the Department of History, I focused naturally on history majors and on history staff.  However, before the 1970s, history majors were actually social studies majors, as the Department of Social Studies (which included anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, and sociology) did not split up until 1970.  The number of social studies and history gradates over the years is in the thousands, and there have been well over a hundred individuals who have taught classes in history or worked in the Department.  Within this large universe of potential interviewees, I interviewed almost anyone that I could find and who would talk to me if they graduated or joined the faculty before I arrived in 1998.  In fact, I ended up interviewing a couple of folks who were neither history majors nor history faculty if they had valuable memories to share related to history and social studies.  For those who graduated after I arrived in 1999, I had many more options.  For alumni, there were more of them, and I knew many of them personally, making them more likely to respond to my emails.  This led me to be more selective for this later period.  I was also concerned about interviewing only those students who I knew best and whose memories might make the Department look more Carrigan-centric than it is.  So, ironically, remaining friendly with me after graduation did not necessarily help you get onto the final list.  In any event, the process for selecting folks after 1999 centered on my attempts to round out and make the list as diverse and representative of the average history major.  In addition, I tended to not interview those alumni who have been interviewed already by either the Alumni Office or the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.  I have tried to link to those interviews under Project 100 webpage listed below.  For faculty and staff, I limited myself to those who had worked in the Department for at least ten years.  

Contacting and Finding the Interviewees

My selection process was obviously limited by those for whom I had contact information.  For my colleagues and recent alums, I often had this information already.  For individuals before 1999, I used a wide variety of techniques to find potential interviewees.  I compiled lists of individuals whose names appeared in the University Archives or in the online yearbooks, usually as a result of their winning a Medallion Award or serving as an officer in the Student History Association or Phi Alpha Theta.  I also had a list of history majors who had donated to the Department over the years.  I then sent these names to Kiniece Williams in the Alumni Office who provided me with contact information.  Once I got someone to agree to speak to me, I then asked them for names of other alums.  These recommendations proved critical, and this accounts to a degree for the reason that some years have several alums, while others are less well-represented. 


There are a few “interviews” that were not, in fact, interviews.  I wanted to cover as much of the history of the University as I could, so I ended up crafting a few unusual entries.  These atypical entries are actually the first ones that will be released.  The first entry covers Eda Willard, the first chairperson of the Department, whose story I felt was important to be included, despite the fact that she passed away many years ago.  The same reasons apply to the second and third entries, which center on Harold Wilson, the second chairperson.  In his case, I was able to interview his daughter as well as several of his former students, which has led to two separate entries.  The fourth entry is of Martha Hursey Brown. I have become somewhat obsessed with this 1946 alum.  She was, as far as I can tell, the first GSC alum to earn a PhD in history, but that is just one part of what makes her so fascinating, as I hope the entry makes clear.  Martha passed away in 1997, so her entry is based on interviews with three individuals who knew her well, including her daughter.  Finally, the fifth of these unusual entries is that of Sidney Kessler.  I was very fortunate to receive the unpublished memoir of this former faculty member from one of his former students.  The entry for Professor Kessler, who joined the Department in 1958 and passed away in 2007, is an excerpt from this memoir.  After these first five entries, the rest are interviews as described above (though the first of these is with an English faculty member!).