Alumni Project Contract

UMW Alumni Project Contract

Mission Statement:

    In celebration of the Centennial Anniversary, we will create a digital storyline of the history of the University of Mary Washington through the perspective of several alumni of the institution.  Using an oral history approach, we will conduct interviews with alumni of different eras and create profiles of each interviewee, including a record of each interview. As an alternative way to look at the school’s history, we will then create a timeline of the key events, dates, and topics discussed in our interviews and supplement these interviews with artifacts from the alumni and other primary source documents.  The ultimate goal of this project is that, eventually, any graduate of the school can connect to this site and share their own stories and memories about the events that he or she felt were important during their time at Mary Washington.

Technological Tools: 

  • Our project homepage will be hosted by
  • We will then divide our project into five major parts: Alumni profiles, timeline, artifacts, video interviews, and a section for future alumni to add their own information to the database.  Our homepage will also include an additional section describing our project, including our methodology and mission statement.
  • For the timeline, we plan on using the Simile program (unless Simile does not fit our parameters, of including videos within the timeline, as we discussed in our meeting, then we shall change it to another different working timeline program). We will link together the events in our timeline with video from our interviews as well as the artifacts database. The recorded interviews will be hosted on YouTube.
  • The alumni profile section will have two subsections.  The first section will include the alums that we have interviewed throughout the course of our project.   In this section, there will be short biographical information (hopefully with a period photo), a synopsis of the alum’s experiences, links to the interview transcriptions and edited video, a link to related events in the timeline as well as any artifacts.  The second section, which will be powered by Omeka, will include all the interviews conducted during our project and available space for future additions.  We will use Omeka for this section because of the searchable nature of its metadata.
  • Interviews will be conducted in a professional way, following standards outlined here and also here.  
  • For the video interview page, we have a list of the links to each video, categorized by the name of the interviewee.  The videos will be edited using Windows Movie Maker and hosted on YouTube.  These videos will be different from those in the timeline because they will be individual interviews, as opposed to a compilation about each event.  This page will also include a transcribed copy of each interview, compiled using both the video and a tape recorder. (The group will work with Andy Rush for any additional video or audio help.) 
  • For the artifacts section, we will include documents about the topics discussed in our interviews.  These artifacts will supplied by scanned copies of pictures and other memorabilia from both the UMW Archives, other sources (Free Lance Star, Bullet), and from our interviewees.
  • For the future contributor page, we are not sure what we are going to do.  We want people, in the future, to be able to add themselves to our Omeka database.
  • Our final section will both describe our project, give links to our class and individual blogs, as well as describe the tools we have used for this project and why we have chosen to use them.

Other Stuff:

  • We will provide each interviewee with a waiver/disclaimer about our project.
  • Each interview will be preceded by research based on books, information gathered from The Bullet, and from the UMW Archives.  In addition, we are going to conduct pre-interviews and follow-up interviews if more information is necessary.

Schedule of Milestones: 

  • Before each interview, we need to send our waiver, which includes what our project is all about, and pre-interview questions. This initial contact will also ask for any artifacts they may be able to provide (old photographs, etc).  We will ask for them to bring the artifacts to the interview so we can scan the documents while they are being interviewed.  If this is not possible the group will make every effort to obtain the items at the convenience of the alumni.   
  • Based on the answers to the pre-interviews we will create a list of additional questions to be asked during our videotaped session.
  • We will schedule and perform interviews as we can throughout the semester. Each interview and corresponding documents, archival material, and timeline will be posted within two weeks of each interview, knowing that the first few might be a little more difficult.
  • Our first interviews will be conducted during the Alumni Board Meeting, on February 16, 2008, so our first set of completed interviews will, hopefully, be compiled by March 1, 2008.
  • The basic layout for our homepage will be up on February 19, 2008.
  • Our goal is to have all interviews completed by March 28, 2008.  If more interviews come after that day, that is okay.  Those will be produced based on the predetermined schedule.
  • The final version of our project is due on April 22, 2008.
  • The presentation of the final project is on April 25, 2008 during the History Symposium.
  • This is a preliminary agenda with dates for the first wave of our project. Once more interviews are schedules, our Google Calender will be updated reflecting accordingly.