What’s in a name? Exhibit at UNCG Auditorium

“OUR HEROES CHANGE.” That simple statement opens “Etched in Stone? Governor Charles Aycock and the Power of Commemoration,” a permanent exhibition in UNCG Auditorium. Opened in 2018, it examines Aycock’s advancement of public education in North Carolina – and his advocacy for white supremacy and the disenfranchisement of black voters in the early 1900s. 

In 2016, Aycock Auditorium was renamed UNCG Auditorium. As part of that decision, the Board of Trustees charged UNCG’s Public History program to interpret the record and legacy of Aycock in the building that formerly bore his name. 

Previous director of Public History Dr. Benjamin Filene and 10 graduate students (now alumni) worked on the exhibition over the course of two years. Now, the exhibition has taken two national awards. 

The American Association for State and Local History has honored their work with an Award of Excellence, the nation’s most competitive and prestigious recognition of achievement in state and local history. The exhibition also received a History in Progress Award, which recognizes projects which are exceedingly entrepreneurial. 

“This project is a perfect example of the excellence embedded in the work of UNC Greensboro students,” said Provost Dana Dunn. “With the guidance of talented faculty, the project was conceived and executed as a valuable learning opportunity for students, designed to enhance their career success post graduation. I’m very proud of the student team who did this work and believe it will be a valuable resource for our campus for many years to come.” 

The exhibition can be viewed during public events and is located on the second floor of the auditorium.

By Matthew Bryant
Photo courtesy of Design Dimension


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