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The goal of the project is to help alumni and community members connect to the Stockton University of the Pacific campus by revealing the stories behind monuments and memorials.
The University of the Pacific will commemorate 100 years in Stockton, California in 2024. Familiar narratives will no doubt circulate and help fuel fundraising efforts. While these stories will heighten a sense of belonging for many alumni, students, faculty and staff, those who do not see their stories centered may feel alienated and erased. A digital inventory of monuments and memorials on campus with narratives and primary sources will tell the less well-known stories about the campus from the perspective of students, staff, and faculty. I will begin to contextualize a few sites such as the Jacoby Center named after a prominent mid-20th-century professor of sociology who became a War Relocation Authority employee in the 1940s, Anderson Hall where numerous student clubs met in the mid-20th century; and Burns Tower, a central landmark on campus which students stormed in the 1960s to demand a Black student union. During this semester, a website that offers content and interpretation, including primary sources that document these stories and biographies of important people, along the model of Histories of the National Mall [mallhistory.org] will take shape. Over time, I envision a participatory website where students, alumni, faculty, and staff can contribute their research over time.