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Interview with Michael Bradley, October 9, 2002 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with Michael Bradley, October 9, 2002
October 9, 2002
In this two-tape interview, Michael Bradley discusses his career at UNCW, which began in 1969. Dr. Bradley was the first professor with a specialty and doctorate in psychology hired to teach at UNCW. He discusses his move to Wilmington, his first office in Kenan Hall, which housed many departments at the time, including Philosophy and Religion, Modern Languages, English, Music, as well as Psychology. Dr. Bradley comments on his philosophy of teaching. (Dr. Bradley won the Chancellor's Teaching Excellence Award in 1999). Also discussed are his academic specializations and research interests in child psychology; his interest in UNCW athletics; and the beneficial role of athletics in higher education.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Bradley, Michael Interviewer: Lack, Adina Date of Interview: 10/9/2002 Series: Voices of UNCW Length: 86 minutes

Lack: Good afternoon, my name is Adina Lack. I’m the archivist and special collections librarian at UNCW. I have the privilege today of conducting a visual oral history and our speaker today is Michael Bradley, Dr. Michael Bradley from the Department of Psychology. We’re in the conference room of Randall Library and it’s October 9, 2002.

Lack: Dr. Bradley, if you can, please just tell us where you were born and where you grew up.

Bradley: Certainly, I was born in Atlanta, Georgia. You don’t need a date, do you (laughter). When I was 2, my family moved to Athens, Georgia and then when I was in the 4th grade, we moved to Cornelia, Georgia which is in the country and close to where they filmed if anybody saw, there was this movie Deliverance and it’s right there.

When I went to college, I went to the junior college of Emory at Oxford for two years. Then I transfer to the University of Georgia and got all my degrees there, my bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees there. Immediately after that came to UNCW in 1969.

Lack: It’s unusual. Most people I’ve talked to haven’t come straight to UNCW. So you’ve had your whole career here basically.

Bradley: Exactly.

Lack: 1969 and we’re now in 2002. So when you came, had it just turned into a university?

Bradley: That’s why I came. I had looked at it earlier just in terms of things that were on the coast and it was only a four year college and so I wasn’t interested at that time not that I was going anywhere at that time, but I was just thinking ahead. Then when I got through, they had an advertisement in the career services that was just like what I was prepared to do and they were just that year changing into the university system, being a part of that system.

They were also changing in terms of the chancellor and so we had a new chancellor, Dr. Wagoner assumed that position. So there was a lot going on.

Lack: And that appealed to you, having…

Bradley: I interviewed here in the spring and if anybody ever wants to get anybody to come here, just interview in the spring because it’s beautiful. So that obviously is a fairly superficial reason, but it was beautiful. It looked like a beautiful place to rear children. I had just had a child born at that time in May so when I was interviewing, that child hadn’t actually been born at that moment but was coming so we needed a place that had good medical facilities and Wilmington did.

Of course it was a situation that was just right. I didn't have to fudge anything in terms of well, I have to teach out of my area or anything like that. It worked out perfectly well.

Lack: And you came on in the Department of Psychology.

Bradley: The Department of Education and Psychology. There wasn’t much psychology to it cause I was the only one. There was a person, who was a psychologist, but they were in the counseling center and their affiliation, and they did teach, but their affiliation was primarily for the counseling center. They were the director of the counseling center. So I was the only psychologist that was actually on staff in that capacity.

Lack: That’s interesting. So you were with the Department of Education and Psychology. You’re the lone psychology person.

Bradley: Yes, I was it.

Lack: Where were you first located?

Bradley: We were first located in the Kenan Building which is kind of interesting because it’s one of the smaller buildings on campus and as I recollect, philosophy and religion was there. Languages was there. I believe that English was there, education was there, music was there. In fact my office was an inside office with no window and the backside of it was a music practice room.

So I got entertained regularly by music majors practicing their music. It’s interesting unless you want to think or talk with someone (laughter).

Lack: That was your office. Did you have a lab there?

Bradley: No, my research was mostly paper and pencil type research and so I could do that in a classroom and that was really no problem. I’m not a person that dealt with other animals typically.

Lack: I heard a story from one of the education professors about another professor who had some kind of animals. This was when the department had moved over to King Hall.

Bradley: Dr. Williams. You’ll have to talk with him. It was interesting. They were running around on the floor in various rooms.

Lack: I was saying that I bet the children who were in the…there was an onsite facility, but I’m sure they had to keep away. I’m sure they would have enjoyed it if they had the chance.

Bradley: Correct.

Lack: So you came on board. There were a lot of departments.

Bradley: All in that one little building so that it was very much needed to build buildings, which then came about and of course King Hall shortly thereafter so that education and psychology moved out. Then we actually hired a department chair for psychology to break off from education and have our own department.

Lack: Who was the chair?

Bradley: The first chair was Dr. John Williams.

Lack: When was that, when did you become your own department? [We have that (inaudible)]

Bradley: That’s good because I truly am not very good about these things with the dates. It was interesting. As I reflect back when you asked me about this, you know, you don’t think about yourself as being a part of history because it’s the present. It was my job and so I never thought about it except as my job and I should go to these meetings? To keep pictures was not something I thought about.

I think this is the first of this and this is the first of something else and the first and it never entered my mind. I was busy doing a lot of different things and you know, family, working. I’ve always worked two jobs. So it was not something that came to mind at the time. Now, of course, it would be very nice to have some of those things.

Lack: It’s true. People are busy doing what they’re doing and they don’t reflect on it. So it’s helpful now to have a chance to reflect on it because we don’t have all the information we’d like to have either.

Bradley: Well the thing that struck me, which again just as an aside and other people may have mentioned it, it was so stark on campus. There was very little grass. Once you got out of the original buildings of Alderman and Hoggard and James, then there was almost no grass. In the summertime especially, but even in the winter, it was extremely stark, very bright and you’d be almost blinded coming out. It looked like they had built on the beach. It was always very interesting to me. It seems so lonely and like this deserted beachhead.

Plus there weren’t many people here and we didn't have to have classes in the afternoons. So unless someone had perhaps a lab, which was in another area of campus from where we were, not many people were around in the afternoons.

Lack: That’s interesting.

Bradley: It was very deserted and it was very quiet. You could get a lot of work done, nobody bothered you much, but it was very different from what it is now.

Lack: So it was sandy?

Bradley: Sandy, it was just so white, white sand. The sun would just reflect off there and you’d think oh my gosh, you were just blinded. Very little grass. You know, unless you sod and grass takes a while to take hold. You were building new buildings here and there. The library came around, the first part of it. King Hall, West Side Hall was built and finally we had a cafeteria. Not many people think about well where did people eat.

Lack: Yes, where did they eat?

Bradley: There was just a little place to eat which when they fixed it up, they took an old tobacco barn that had been torn down and put the barn siding up as the interior of this area. That’s what it was. I am not sure, you need to verify this, but it may have been over in Hinton James Building. It was amazing all the things that were in all these buildings.

Another thing that was kind of interesting was that when I was here and young, they had a band come. They were going to play and they needed a chaperone and it was upstairs in Hinton James which if you think about it as Bear and a big room up there, it still wasn’t very large. So I went to chaperone and it was a nice band and people came and danced. Just part of what I thought I should have done.

It wasn’t later until I realized that it was fairly significant in that the band that played was Chicago who later became very famous, but at that time weren’t quite so famous. So that’s some of the kinds of things that occurred over the period of time while we were at the beginning.

Lack: People came and performed. We actually in our archives have a display about some of the groups and people who came. Chicago is one of them. I found it interesting that they came.

Bradley: Very, for such a small group. Now it would be impossible.

Lack: You came here and what did you think of Wilmington after having lived in Atlanta?

Bradley: Well I had come from a small town so it really wasn’t a big problem. Cornelia, Georgia, didn’t even have a thousand people. So it was not too much of a drastic change. But I’d spent a lot of time in Atlanta and Athens and Athens especially being a university town. I missed the football games. That was something you missed and you missed, like everyone that comes from graduate school, you miss the facilities that you had at a huge institution.

So we had all kinds of things that weren’t available when we moved here to Wilmington. But that was okay, it was interesting. The mall was built relatively shortly thereafter so then there was a mall. That was a big deal. Downtown was very nice. Everybody in the wintertime at Christmas would go down and look at Belk’s and the window and see the moving display. It was very quaint and very nice.

Downtown was nice. It’s had its ups and downs, but at that point in time it was nice. There were some empty places, but it was a nice place to shop because it was about the only place to shop. Hanover Center was out there, but downtown was still a very nice place.

Lack: And of course the beach.

Bradley: And the beach, I’m not a beach person, not a boat person, not a water person. Except for my children, it didn't really matter to me. I was amazed that there was all the water with the river and the beach and when you would go out to eat, there was no place that actually accented that.

I remember interviewing and going to the Blockade Runner to eat lunch and it’s on the ocean and everything, but where the dining room was the dunes were there so you couldn’t see the ocean. So it didn't really matter.

Lack: Yes, they didn't have the tourism thing down quite on a big scale.

Bradley: There was nothing as there is now to take advantage of the water views and that kind of attraction situation. That seemed rather strange to me at the time.

Lack: You had children who grew up here.

Bradley: I had children and so it was very nice and the beach was nice for them. The schools were very nice. That was no problem and a nice situation.

Lack: What are some of the major things that happened in your department as you progressed? You mentioned that it became its own department.

Bradley: Just the growth over the years. Under Dr. Williams acquiring people to teach in the particular areas of their expertise because when I first came, I had to teach a lot of courses that I had to prepare for. I had not been prepared as an expert, in an area of expertise before. I had to learn some of those things. I’m sure that that was not the best situation possible. So we had to then hire people to teach specific courses in specific areas.

As we did that, that was very exciting. And then of course you would have colleagues, who weren’t exactly doing what you were doing, but at least they were psychology colleagues and that was good. The smallness of the whole university was nice because then you got to have faculty meetings and meet people. You were on committees with other people and you knew the people that were at the university.

Now there are people that are upstairs in my building I don’t know or down the hall because you don’t have that kind of situation where you have the opportunities to meet these people as we did back then. It’s much larger and so it’s harder to do.

Lack: There must have been a lot of collegiality.

Bradley: Very much so because every committee that you were on, there were so few of us, the first year I came was a SACS study. The next thing I knew I was the chairman of one of the subcommittees. Well I didn't know anybody or anything and to be the chair of gathering all this information was rather daunting. But I learned a lot fast by that process.

I learned a lot of the people that were on the committees and by investigating learned other people through having to go through them for the information. That was good for me. I don’t know if it was the best for the university, but it was good for me.

Lack: Who did you get to know through that process?

Bradley: Well basically the people that were here at that time. Some of my better friends were Jack Levy in chemistry, Bob Appleton in accounting and they were definitely my best friends. Louis Nance who is now deceased was also in chemistry. In fact at one time all four of us lived in an area that’s called the Mansion district which is over near where the chancellor’s house is.

So we would have get-togethers amongst us all. So we could walk or stroll the strollers with the children and that was very nice. That was a good social kind of situation for us. Very nice.

Lack: I know some of those people. Did you get to know the chancellor?

Bradley: Not really very much. We would see him at faculty meetings, but I didn't have much interaction with him. I wasn’t part of the administration. I was not a chair person and so basically I was teaching and trying to do my research and then I would also have side jobs where I would teach at other places.

For instance, I would finish teaching in the afternoon here and then I would leave here about 4:00 and drive to Myrtle Beach Air Force base and teach there two nights a week and then drive back. The things you can do when you’re young.

Lack: Yes, how long did that continue?

Bradley: I did that for a few years. I taught at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville and I would do that also a couple of nights a week. Sometimes I would teach at night here, various continuing education courses. So I would do these kinds of things to supplement my income at that time having a growing family and buying a house, building a house, doing these different kinds of things.

So I was fortunate that I did have that capability. As time went on, I started a practice with some other people and we went in together and began a private practice and started that in 1981. So since that time, I’ve been in private practice also.

Lack: That must keep you busy.

Bradley: Yes, but it keeps me out of trouble for the most part. I like working. I can’t envision being so retired that you didn't work. I enjoy what I do so I would do my full time job here and then have part-time practice. Now I’m just going to expand. I have during this phased retirement expanded to where I have what I would consider a full time practice and part time here at the university.

Then next year, I will begin more full-time in my practice and just have more clients at those times when I’m teaching here now. I will still be affiliated with two student groups on campus. I’m very active with the Greek Advisory Committee, the fraternities and sororities on campus and also with Pandion, the secret society on campus. So I will continue to be involved with them.

There’s always the possibility that I could teach at various times if it was needed. I love teaching and I would love to be able to continue teaching if that were possible to do.

Lack: Do you think you’ll miss it?

Bradley: I will definitely miss the teaching and interaction every day with the students and having the give and take of a lecture and questions and the excitement of what’s coming up next and what’s someone going to say or someone is actually going to tell you something that indicates that they have learned something.

Or when they come back and they say to you as a teacher, I thank you for helping me to decide to be a certain thing or when I had your class, I decided to work with children or thank you for your help in getting into graduate school and my career. When they say that you were one of the best teachers they ever had or you were the best teacher you ever had. That is really the most important thing for us. Obviously we have to make money to eat and be clothed, but that is the stuff that stays with you.

Lack: It sounds like you’ve been an excellent teacher. You’ve probably been recognized for that.

Bradley: The Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence award, yes.

Lack: Yes because I have a list and meant to review it to make sure I remembered what date you got that, but you got the Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence award.

Bradley: Yes.

Lack: That’s great. Well I can tell by the way you speak of teaching. You said your research interests have been in child psychology?

Bradley: Yes, when I came I’d been working in reading and so I continued my research in reading. One of the interesting things that happened was that coming to an institution like this, basically the researchers were in the chemistry and biology and that’s where people were typically doing research.

Especially when I first came in education, people weren’t doing research. So research was kind of frowned upon and you had to pay your own way. If you had some cost incurred, you basically had to pay for it yourself. There was very little financial support for research. To some degree, it was actually frowned upon because people who were here then, the vast majority had not come from research backgrounds.

This was a threat to them. You did not get much support and in fact often people were somewhat antagonistic about it, not necessarily aggressive in an outward way, but when you don’t get money and you don’t get verbal support, then it’s very difficult. So actually what happened was over the years, I did less and less research and became more and more interested in doing something outside of the university so in my teaching outside the university or when I established my practice. Then that became very fruitful in terms of satisfying my needs to be able to interact with people, to be able to have some accomplishment in the psychological realm that was different than publications.

Lack: That’s interesting. I suppose that atmosphere has changed.

Bradley: It has changed very much. You have to remember back then, we got very little recognition for anything. Under Chancellor Leutze, people will tell you you are dong a good job. We have awards. There are people who have never been here when there weren’t. I remember when they first started sending you a little card saying that was nice that you did this or this or whatever.

That was good because again unless you happen to have a chairperson who did that sort of thing, then you didn't get any of it. Before the communiqué, who was going to know? Most people aren’t going to go around telling everybody look what I did. So there wasn’t a lot of enthusiasm for, wasn’t a lot of commitment to, wasn’t a lot of reinforcement for research at that time.

Lack: It would have been hard with no incentive.

Bradley: It was difficult. So that makes it even more interesting and important to the history of the university, that certain people that did research and especially Dr. Levy in the chemistry department and then when they got other people to carry on and to extend that sort of situation. In every department now, there is certainly reward for research, but it just wasn’t that way at that time.

Of course teaching is the primary aim of the university still. But it had to have a change. It had to move forward. You had to have someone do that. It’s not one of those things that typically gets started in the grassroots. You need the higher up people to do it.

Lack: You think that sort of came from Dr. Leutze?

Bradley: Dr. Leutze was the primary one that did that. That’s not to say there wasn’t anyone before, but when you have the chancellor that says let’s do this and who then puts the wheels in motion so that then deans do this.

Lack: He made it possible.

Bradley: Right and he set in motion; it’s going to happen. You don’t say no to the chancellor very often (laughter). So that was great for those of us who were primarily teaching. For a while it was just research and publications and then they said we need at least to put teaching on an equal footing. Even though it was given lip service earlier, it wasn’t until later that someone said we also have to have awards for that and we need to have it on an equal footing in terms of the reinforcements that are given.

Lack: All right, thank you.

Lack: All right, it’s another day, October 17, we’re in the same room and Dr. Bradley has returned because we wanted to conclude our interview and talk some more about your memories and your stories.

Lack: Would you like to pick up where we left off?

Bradley: I don’t remember exactly where we left off, but I can pick up on a general situation about the department growing and more and more people in specialty areas and more colleagues, which made a big difference and was a very good situation. The whole university began to appreciate research more and more obviously never to the exclusion or to the demotion of teaching as such. It’s always remained the primary focus of the university.

It made it easier to be more well rounded when you had people that were cognizant in your area or at least other psychologists. So that just grew and grew in our department. Now I think we have 28 people in the department. So it’s been a growth industry ever since the beginning.

Lack: 28 people?

Bradley: 28 full time I believe with the master’s program. As I was looking a little bit in other institutions that are much larger than ours and have even doctoral level programs, we’re as large as they are such as UNCG, Charlotte.

Lack: Of course you remember when there was one full time.

Bradley: Actually to be technically correct, when I was the only one here, there wasn’t a department of psychology. When there became a department of psychology, there were three or four of us at that time. So they had recruited some more psychologists before we had the department and then once we had that, then we split off.

Lack: How long was it that you were with the department of education?

Bradley: Truthfully I can’t remember. I really cannot remember, I’m sorry. I was having too much fun.

Lack: Well you mentioned the graduate program. How did that come about? Was that a directive from on high?

Bradley: We had decided that we wanted to try and see if that was possible. At one time, it was thought to be fairly high up on the priority list and the next thing you know, it was down on the bottom. Then the idea of the need for substance abuse counselors came up. That seemed to be the pivotal area.

The next thing you know we had been asked to submit all of the documentation and we got accepted to be able to have a master’s program which has two tracks, one a general track for people who want to perhaps go on for a doctorate and the other is a master’s track in clinical with a specialty in substance abuse. Those people obviously can go on and get a doctorate also. The others can stop and keep their master’s, but that was the way it was and to this day is still like that.

Lack: Is there some interaction with the substance abuse like Crossroads?

Bradley: Yes, actually there’s probably more interaction with agencies outside of the university, which is good to have that kind of interaction. It would seem fairly common and normal for us to interact within the university, but outside the people in the area have worked on those relationships, have been on the boards, chairmen of the boards of things like Coastal Horizons which deals with substance abuse treatment and other agencies and also state agencies.

They began the annual program in substance abuse that provides workshops and opportunities for substance abuse counselors to learn more about what’s going on and that’s been held here for quite a number of years.

Lack: Would you say that you have a small graduate program? How many students do you have?

Bradley: I don’t know how many we have typically. We try to keep it around 12, that is the way it began. Since I’ve been retired for two years now, I just really don’t know much about what’s going on with that area other than we keep putting them out and they keep going on to doctoral programs. They get jobs if that was their motivation or go onto a doctoral program. We’ve been very, very successful. It’s a very strong program.

Lack: Because I know it’s competitive to get a Ph.D. in psychology, clinical psychology. I’ve been told that’s harder than getting into medical school.

Bradley: Well the general program allows them to go onto any area of doctoral psychology, not necessarily just clinical. So neuroscience aspects, social personality, school psychology, anything like that.

Lack: Is there pretty good support for those graduate students? Are you able to compete with other programs?

Bradley: Like everything else more money would be good. There’s financial difficulties in the state and so that then always impacts every program that there is and certainly impacted us in terms of support for our graduate students. That’s just the way you know it’s going to be going in. You’re going to have those types of situations.

Basically you have to be prepared to take on a master’s program without much change in what kinds of facilities and support that you have. Certainly that’s not to intimate that there might not be any, but you have to figure minimal and if you can’t make it, then that’s going to be a problem.

Lack: I guess you figure that out the hard way, that that’s how it’s been.

Bradley: Certainly and there were other master’s programs before ours so there was experience in those areas. Obviously when a graduate program begins, they certainly don’t stop and erect a new building and go out and hire new people to do that. It’s your same people basically, same facilities unless they can generate some income to do something different.

When new buildings come along, then space could be allocated for some of those situations, but it’s not the driving force.

Lack: That’s true.

Bradley: Our graduate students have a space that was once the philosophy and religion department office and so somebody else has to move before you can go into these spaces.

Lack: When they move into the new wing…

Bradley: And that’s why it’s so important when we voted and had the bond issue that allowed for the new construction on campus because when there’s new construction that allows for renovation and also for the movement into larger areas of a particular building, of a particular department.

Now we’re seeing the benefits of that as we have buildings going up, the new education building going up which then the old education building will be worked on and renovated for someone else to occupy and so it allows for growth. It allows for growth that is desperately needed. We turn away thousands of applicants every year.

Lack: That just shows that there’s a need.

Bradley: The first year I came here I was put on a SACS committee, which was a big responsibility and I didn't know many people. I learned fast and that helped. I’ve been on innumerable committees since then which have all been very nice in terms of seeing my colleagues and being able to interact with them, learning how other parts of the university work. Unless you deal with some of these things, you have no clue as to how they work.

To be on grievance committees, the grievance committee with students was one thing. To be on grievance committees that dealt with fellow faculty members was a much more difficult situation. My favorite committee was the athletic committee because I like athletics a lot and I’m a big supporter of athletics here in UNC Wilmington. So that was a lot of fun. They are really hard working people over there working with very little.

Of course when I first came when Bill Brooks was the athletic director and basically by himself made the athletic component of the university what it was. He was really a great man.

Lack: Was he the chair of the committee?

Bradley: To tell you the truth, I don’t remember how that actually worked. I don’t think he was the chair. I think he was ex-officio member of that and in fact I was, way back then, on the committee. Then I was on the committee after a hiatus of many years and after Peg Bradley-Doppes was the director. It’s interesting to see the changes in the amount of paperwork and the government regulations and all of the different needs that had sprung up because it’s a large business. Athletics is a big business and universities are in business.

So it’s sometimes difficult when we’re dealing on the one hand with students and then when you deal with the business aspect of athletics or for that matter any area that you might have, especially athletics. So all of a sudden there are tremendous conflicts that are going to arise because of that everything from what about the money and how do we get it and where’s it being spent to classroom time for the athletes and are they having to miss too much class, scheduling that comes from that.

This university tries very hard to put the student athlete first in terms of themselves, not first in front of everybody else that’s at the university. It’s often mistaken that the rules are bent or that the admissions are somewhat easier for people who are athletes and yet the people who are admitted that don’t quite meet the qualifications are not typically the athletes. It is typically other areas such as diversity and different departmental needs for people who are proficient in some particular area that are very difficult to recruit.

I think that’s a misperception that some people have. In music for instance or voice or film making. So that’s more so the case. Of course we have tried to have more diversity through the years and especially in trying to recruit and have ethnic diversity and especially the black population. They’ve tried very, very diligently and yet it increased and now it has decreased somewhat.

Lack: Did you notice in your years in being here, I’ve heard this from other students that there were pretty ________ into a minority of African American students in the early days. Maybe not that early, maybe more like 20 years ago.

Bradley: Yes, and there was a greatest percentage. There are several things that I had heard and one of them was that for African Americans in Wilmington, there wasn’t much in terms of a social life for them as compared with other places you can go. I’m unfamiliar with other places and what social activities they would have for anyone so I couldn’t comment on that. But I did hear those comments time and time again.

Never did I hear a comment about the treatment of any ethnic group that led to them leaving just purely in terms that they felt that they weren’t wanted at this university. Most typically well here’s a good university and here’s a nice place to be, but what about the other stuff, extracurricular, what is there available, where do we go to socialize. It was seemingly not something that was in existence.

Lack: There is a good size population.

Bradley: I know that there’s been many efforts and of course we now have an office devoted to diversity to try and help people feel more comfortable both within the university and outside the university. So I’m sure they’re having very positive effects.

Lack: What else do you remember about the students over the years?

Bradley: Well in ’69, I was teaching a lot of people back from Vietnam so there were a lot of males certainly who had been in Vietnam. I was teaching an awful lot of people who were my age or maybe even a little older than I was. That was a lot. There were a lot of them. It’s not like there were just a few. Of course we didn't have anything like we have now for non-traditional students. That was a predominant group of people and they often would be predominant in terms of officers in various organizations and various groups that were on campus.

Lack: (Can’t hear interviewer).

Bradley: So in the 60’s and 70’s, it would have been the same thing, it was just a different effort. Different war. I now occasionally hear from some of those people because now they’re at the point in which because of the age they were then, some of them are retiring. So I’m hearing from some of them. Some of them are having physical problems, heart problems and things like that. My memories are still of them as young vibrant people.

Lack: Were they very hard-working?

Bradley: Certainly, but I don’t think that has changed too much. I do think when you’ve been out doing something, anything, it doesn’t matter what you’ve been doing, but if you’ve been out after high school, then you come back with more dedication. I think there’s perhaps as many, even more that work outside the university or on the university’s campus. A tremendous number of people that work, have jobs. So I think that’s always been what I’ve seen.

That’s a big difference. Now the non-traditional people are still here, but I think relatively speaking it’s a smaller proportion, at least what I see. It has changed somewhat. I taught an awful lot of education students in the beginning. I taught a service course for the education department. I also taught a course that nurses took and as time went along, as the requirements for those majors changed, then I was getting students who were different.

The nursing students were always extremely good students, very hard working. They had a definite goal. It was very rigorous education that they had to undertake so they were very hard working. They were a pleasure to teach. I think there’s a practical application that they saw for what I was teaching. Some of the education students did like a lot of parents and they only related to their experiences so they kept thinking well when I was in school rather than trying to think about how can you think of this differently than when you were in school.

The nurses wouldn’t have ever been a nurse so they couldn’t think about, well when I was a nurse. It was a different thought process going on.

Lack: Have you worked some with students in business?

Bradley: There are often business majors because I teach some things that are basic studies so they would come and take classes. Business students often seem to be really good in math. One of the things when I first came here was experiential learning. I’ve had opportunities for my students to go out in the community and to work with different areas in the community by tutoring students, both typical students and atypical students, by working with Boys Clubs, Girls Inc., Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, programs for exceptional children.

Dependent upon the class, different kinds of activities which would enhance that learning situation, obviously child psychology, human life span development, anywhere along that developmental process. Of course we didn't do that in statistics. A test of measurements, I had them make up and do an evaluative report just like they were someone out there doing that, a clinical psychologist or a school psychologist, someone who would have to do such a report.

But there’s been thousands and thousands of hours that have come from this university through my students as part of their choice. They had a choice. They could write papers. We had different choices for that. Or they could go out and do hours of work in the community and then write a little paper about that.

Many of them had stated through the years, especially on their evaluations, that they really weren’t too happy about knowing they had to go out and do those hours or thinking that they were going to do those hours because they didn't want to write a paper and then finding that this was a real turning point in their lives, a determining factor to whether they wanted to be something or not be something.

I had people who wanted to be teachers all their lives, wanted to teach little kids, went out there and worked with little kids and said never again. It worked the other way around, people who thought they wouldn’t want to deal with one particular group and worked with them and felt it was great and wanted it to be their life’s work.

So many people, whether it be in an educational realm or a psychological realm, nursing, whatever it might have been that have written me or written on their evaluations how much they appreciated the opportunity to have that be opened up to them, that it determined a lot of things that they were going to do in their lives even if it was seemingly unrelated to what they were going out there to be.

So I still to this day have people that say, well Dr. Bradley I used those things we talked about in class with my children or in my work because I supervise people and I try to use those psychological techniques. They don’t think about it necessarily that way, but that’s what they’re doing and they do realize it.

Lack: So did you have relationships with these organizations or did they contact people?

Bradley: I would present them with opportunities. It wasn’t an inclusive list, but I would have contacts. I was on the Board of Directors of the Girls Club so I would certainly say here’s an opportunity. People would like to have you over there. I was on the Board of Directors and chairman for a time of the Child Development Center so they could see exceptional preschool children in that type of situation.

I had a good relationship with cerebral palsy center, send people over there and Boys Club and would go and visit there and would try to help them with various situations. Schools and their after school tutoring, every school in this county has had one…well they’ve had lots of my students over the years and so they’re used to these situations. Preschools and day care have had thousands and thousands of my students who have had opportunities to work with these children.

So some through my connections and many of my connections probably came because the students were involved in these activities. They would go and have to relate psychological aspects of their activities. So basically what I thought I was trying to teach them was, here’s, you know, child psychology, I’m not teaching you about anything you don’t know, but it’s a different way to look at it. So now when they go out and see behavior, they can interpret it differently in a psychological way. So that’s what I had them write papers about.

Lack: So that was typically for child psychology?

Bradley: For most all of them especially if they were service oriented, then we did an educational, psychology, life span psychology, adolescent. I mean there’s courses that I taught we don’t even have now. Of course, when I taught statistics, we didn't do that. Test and measurements, we actually had sort of a fantasy baseball league.

Pretend you are a clinical psychologist or pretend you’re a school psychologist, pretend you work in a prison and have to do an evaluation. Pretend you work in a company and have to do an evaluation. Pick tests, make up scores, make it fit the situation, pretend you work in a hospital as a clinician, whatever it might have been that they thought they might be interested in. Then they could go and see what it was like at least to the extent we could do it at the university.

Lack: I’m sure you knew David Miller. He taught measurements.

Bradley: Yes, and he did. We were good friends. Dave and I have been good friends. We used to play tennis together and we played mixed doubles with some people who were here at the university. We would play when we were younger and we played intramural ball. So we would have a team that would play intramural basketball or softball. When our psychology department got large enough, we would have a softball team.

Lack: Really, faculty?

Bradley: Yes. We would play students and especially in basketball. We played in the student league and we’d play against those young, big, strong people (laughter). That was quite interesting and a lot of fun. I still have friends who are now grown, actually I’m building a house right now next to a home where a person lived that I had taught. One of the things I remember is as we were playing intramural basketball and for some reason, I don’t know whether I was doing good or he was doing bad or what, he was a student on the other team and he got upset and he ran me out of bounds, off the court into the seats. So it was a thing we often talked about. I knew his wife and so on social occasions, we would always reminisce about that situation. He’s an executive with Lowe’s now in California at this time. But we still talk about those kinds of situations.

Lack: You didn’t mention that you had an interest in athletics.

Bradley: I did at that time until I abused my body so much, it wouldn’t do it anymore. Yeah, I would play anything. There was a period of time that was very nice for me. I was separated and then divorced. In the mid-70’s I would teach and then I would go and see what was going on with the athletics.

I would go to the parking lot and if somebody was there who wanted to play tennis and Larry Honeycutt was the coach and I’d say, “Well can I go with you” and he would let me. So I would go and do whatever I could to help them. I would just be there. Soccer, I would go with the soccer team. I would travel with them; I would go with any of them.

We had summer baseball and Coach Miller and Coach Honeycutt an then the athletic director was also doing that at that time. So if they would let me, and I would go on trips with them, drive…we didn't have buses and stuff back then. We’d drive station wagons and drive the ball players and actually go and spend the night places with them.

Lack: They probably got used to that, oh maybe we can get Dr. Bradley to go.

Bradley: Actually it was very nice on their part. I was very happy to do it and they were of course happy to have somebody to do some of that and it worked out nicely. No, they never actually asked me. I always asked them and they were kind enough to allow me. Coach Gibson when he was the coach would let me go on basketball trips and I remember going to Charlotte when they played. They had very good teams at that time.

I especially remember coming back when it was snowing and the bus kind of sliding off of the highway and thinking, whoa, I’ve read those stories in the newspapers about bus wrecks and so and so many people were killed. You know buses don’t have seat belts. So that went through my mind, but we made it fine and that was okay. Also he allowed me to go with them to North Carolina State basketball game. I sat on the bench. That was amazing.

I was in the bathroom and this person just kind of rose up it seemed like out of the floor and I believe it was Tommy Bolison, he was about 7’5” and in this small bathroom, he seemed like he was about 8’ tall. It was a very interesting situation there. Of course the one that I will always remember is we were always heated rivals with East Carolina and I got to go with them up there and there were a bunch of really close knit group of players at that time.

We had in fact some of the people that are now in the Hall of Fame. Cooper was there and Peterson. You had these people who were playing and they were just like a family.

They cared for each other. They liked each other so much and they played well together as a result. So we went up to East Carolina and we didn't beat them too often especially up there. Nobody beat them up there too often.

I was sitting on the bench and we just killed them. It was just a blowout. We actually had a situation in which a person that played forward was dribbling down and actually did a behind the back pass to somebody which was unheard of for this young man to do and then had a dunk because of that. Sitting on the bench, I also found how scary it is when you’re a player to sit on the bench and it’s an antagonistic crowd because I kept thinking, what is going to happen. Is somebody going to throw something at us and hit us in the back of the head here? A fight had broken out behind us. You’re very vulnerable.

Lack: Yes, even on television right on the floor there.

Bradley: Exactly and back in the old days when we played in the Hanover gym, there was a situation in which, and I don’t even know what it was that created the situation, but there was a little argument and we had a player whose nickname was Pearl. All of a sudden, he jumped out there and he gave this big karate kick to this guy and it’s kind of famous among people who were here at that time, you know, the big fight with the karate kick from Pearl who still is in the area and I still see occasionally. He’s a productive working member of the community.

Lack: That could have been bad.

Bradley: He was ready to give somebody else a bad experience.

Lack: We’re discussing your long association perhaps on an informal basis with the athletics department. I think that’s really great because I’ve interviewed as part of the same project David Miller and also Charles Lewis and so there’s been a long history of athletics at Wilmington as well as the extracurricular. Now would you say there’s a favorite sport that you like to follow?

Bradley: Basketball, yes, because I love basketball. My wife loves basketball and actually what happened was that I had met my wife, we weren’t married at the time, but when I first met her and I was separated and so I asked her if she would like to go to a basketball game. Well I was in Atlanta visiting my brother and I drove back home to take her to the first basketball game that was played in Trask Coliseum, the first one against Wake Forest in which we had them just about beaten.

Of course we weren’t used to doing that kind of thing and so I think that inexperience caught up with us. But again a wonderful group of players at that time especially the Martin brothers, fantastic young men.

Lack: Was Jerry Wainwright there then?

Bradley: No, no, that was a long time ago. So we’re talking back in about ’76 or ’77 right in there. Later on, just a year or so ago, Peg Bradley-Doppes, the athletic director, found out about that story and so I then received in the mail something from her. She thanked me for my support of athletics at UNCW over the years. She gave me a piece of the floor from that first floor of Trask because we’ve gone through several floors since then which I had mounted and had the little note that she wrote about that being so special because it was the first date I had with my wife. So we’re now building a new home and it will have a permanent place in our home on the wall.

Lack: That’s great. That’s a good omen.

Bradley: I’ve always been a season ticket holder and supportive, been CI Club captain over the years, very much supportive and go to all the games of course. We go to some of the away games that we can and go to all of the tournament games. We’ve been to the NIT a couple of times. Unfortunately we didn't go to California for that game. That was the first post-season game that we had missed because we had just been at the tournament and I had taken a week off to go and visit relatives after that.

Everyone thought that perhaps we would be lucky and it would be a little bit closer. I was hopeful and I didn't feel it would be fair to take off more time especially having my practice in addition to teaching at the university. So we didn't go, but it was very exciting watching that win over USC. It was really a wonderful situation. Certainly if everything ended then, a nice culmination, but basketball and other sports at UNCW are only moving onward and upward.

Everything has improved since I was here. There were times when we didn't want to see the cheerleaders or the dance team come out. I mean there were times when we didn't have a dance team, but we didn't want to see them come out because we were afraid they were going to fall down. They didn't compare favorably with other ones that were in existence. The PET band was overshadowed.

We’d go to the tournament and all the other bands from schools, especially that had football, they would just overshadow us. Now they’ve gained more and more support from the university and also other areas. It’s become wonderful. It’s a common situation that the dance team and the cheerleading team go into the nationals and compete and end up in the top 10 on various occasions. It’s something to be so proud of.

I teach a lot of those young men and women and a lot of the athletes. A lot of the people that do well in academics, no matter what it is that these people do and no matter when they do it because I’ve had people that were in class and people who are saying well I don’t think they can go to graduate school, I don’t think they’ll be very good at this or that, and they go to graduate school and they do fine. They go out and become successful business people. That is so fulfilling, to see that kind of change and know that part of it was due to what happened at UNCW.

Lack: Do you teach a lot of athletes in your basic courses?

Bradley: Basic studies, yes. Now of course I don’t teach any higher-level courses. I only teach child psychology and life span human development so I will get some of these people. For instance, we now have a young man who is an assistant coach, Billy Donlon, and he went to school here and played and then he went off and then he came back.

It was an interesting situation. I got a call the other day from this person who is in Student Affairs and they were asking me about my middle initial which I don’t have. She called back and it was a person who I had taught. Billy Donlon and his girlfriend had been in my class and I had seen them over the years together and talked with them and got to be friends. Then at the end they broke up. So the last I knew, they had broken up.

So then I got this call from this person named Lena Donlon who married Billy Donlon in this past June and so here are these people who had gone through as college sweethearts, but as many things do, it ended and it wasn’t a happy ending. But then over time got back together and are now married and back here at UNCW.

Lack: Wow, that is something and they got married recently too.

Bradley: Very recently.

Lack: They may have had other relationships or whatever.

Bradley: I haven’t even had time to talk yet to find out what’s gone on in between.

Lack: But you knew the name.

Bradley: I knew the Donlon part and then Lena is not a common name and I knew her and Billy fairly well. I had a past student, I taught him, I taught his wife and they brought their child in when they had a child to child psychology and he played professional baseball for a few years. I have his baseball cards. I have a bat that he gave me. So I have these memories and some tangible parts of these memories to keep with me as I leave the university.

Lack: Yeah, that’s wonderful and you’ll continue to be a Seahawk fan.

Bradley: Big supporter. When my wife and I were dating, we went to baseball games, the bugs were bad in the summer, but we would go to summer baseball games, spring baseball games, all the basketball games, some soccer games. I will stop by and see anything and watch anything that’s going on. Now that I don’t have as much time, it happens less frequently. I really enjoy it. I stopped by the other day to look at the softball team just practice and just to see the young ladies that I have taught. There’s some that I know that I haven’t taught.

The university years are such an important part of your life, not just in terms of making or breaking you, but in terms of the memories that you’re going to have and where you first developed adult relationships. People that you might talk to at various times throughout your life, somebody that you might end up marrying. In fact it’s the best place to meet somebody to marry. It’s much harder out there to find somebody later on.

It’s nice to see these things happening and to experience changes. When you see somebody come in as a young freshman and then leave only four or five or six years later, however long it takes you to get out, but to be so much different and it is just a wonderful transformation to see that.

Lack: It sounds like a very positive reflection on undergraduate years. It’s great that you’ve been supportive of athletics and other aspects of student life. I’m sure that’s been a good experience. Were you surprised as much as the rest of us when Jerry Wainwright left?

Bradley: Yes, I thought he would stay here, but then I always am cognizant of the fact that we don’t know everything that’s going on. No matter what happens, it’s tough enough to know what’s going on in your own life than with somebody else?

Lack: Did you know him?

Bradley: Oh yes, yes, I knew him, I knew his wife. His wife worked in the athletic office so at the athletic committee meetings, then she would be there and I would see her and I would see her at other events of course. Being a member of the Seahawk Club, I would see her at various social kinds of situations and traveling a lot to various things, I would see her and I would see Jerry and get to talk to them.

Lack: What were feelings about him?

Bradley: He obviously did a wonderful job here. I taught him and I also taught one of his sons when Scott was here. I taught his son’s girlfriend and perhaps eventually wife, I’m not sure how that will work out. You know, these are the types of situations that you get to know the other part of a person.

Knowing about Jerry Wainwright and about the horrific accident he had been in and almost losing his life and being in pain every day of his life makes it so that you think about this person in a different way. Everybody doesn’t know those things and so everybody can’t have that opportunity to perceive that person differently so I was happy about that.

I was always disappointed down deep that the university changed and got so big that you just can’t hop on the bus and say hey, could I go with you there, could I go with you here. There’s things that probably I did back in earlier times that I didn't know were NCAA violations. It wasn’t like I gave people a bunch of money, but just in doing social things with the young men that were participating in sports here that probably were not things I was supposed to do, but I didn't know that. I thought, you know, how about if I just have a meal here at my house.

Maybe that was okay, maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was the context of how it would happen. I don’t know. But we certainly weren’t as knowledgeable about the rules and certainly when people are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars offered to people in cars and all sorts of things, certainly a spaghetti dinner doesn’t rank up there as too much of a threat and probably wouldn’t spend too much time in jail for that.

We had social events together. That was fun. I have people that I talk to now that were part of that situation that say, you know, that was really fun. I still remember. I know a lady that lives in Maine now and we talked to her a few weeks ago and we always talk about when she was at one of these parties and the basketball team guys were there. Sometimes we’d have parties and have the baseball players and basketball players there and sometimes some of their girlfriends and wives. A few of them were married at the time. We had a really nice time. We had a lot of fun. We still remember it, they still remember it so that’s a fun part of our lives together.

Lack: It’s hard to imagine that being a big violation. If you think about college players who have a chance to leave the NBA, they might say well I did have a lot of fun at this professor’s house at a party. It’s certainly a great experience. It’s good to hear that we have a strong program. _________ (can’t hear interviewer)

Bradley: Oh, of course. It’s very exciting. They have a good strong team, good coaches and it’s always getting better and better and that’s a really fun thing. We’re just getting better, better, better, not just in athletics, but in everything since I’ve been here. You know, I’ve been in older universities and it’s not always like that. You have ups and downs because for a while, they were young and they were always going up and we’re still in that mode so that’s really nice.

Lack: We get bigger…

Bradley: You lose some of that contact to have people at my home and to have social situations with people who are in the record books. When you see Cooper’s name in the record book there and you see Danny Davis’ name and you see all these different names from the past and the fact that I knew that person better than just seeing them on the court or seeing them on the baseball field, to know and have had interactions with these people who played professional major league baseball. It’s like wow, this is really a thing you didn't know about at the time and it’s so nice that they’re so humble and that they come back and they support the university. It’s just a wonderful situation.

Lack: With smaller sports, they don’t get maybe as much attention, but you still have an opportunity to get to know people. Do you watch golf?

Bradley: Well that takes a little too much time. You have to go far to get to the courses usually. The things that I can drive by here, I will go to. I have gone to watch golfers and watch them practice and play a little bit, but that’s when I had more time. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had less time. It’s an interesting change that’s taken place. But that means some things were successful so that’s good also.

I watch the tennis players out there. If I see soccer, whatever I see going on as I’m driving, I will stop and take a look.

Lack: That must mean a lot to them, that they see you in the classroom too and now you’re there at the game.

Bradley: Yeah, I always wish I could do everything. On Saturdays sometimes, we have volleyball games and I plan to come, but volleyball, you never know how long it’s going to last. I came one time and I had to run some errands and thought I’d be able to see most of it and it was over. Just zip, and somebody won and it was over so I missed that. I was real disappointed.

Lack: That’s true.

Bradley: But some of us love sports a lot. You mentioned David Miller and Larry Honeycutt has been here a long time and there’s just recently been a thing about him officiating Al Montieth who’s out here at the university and it was in the paper about his officiating. So all these people are very involved. I mentioned Dave Miller, he and I would play tennis together and we would play.

There were two young ladies who were good tennis players and they were students. We would play with them in a mixed doubles situation. Dave Miller’s partner was a young lady named Gwen, I can’t think of her last name, but she’s now Gwen Honeycutt, Coach Honeycutt’s wife. So it’s kind of interesting how some of these things will work out. Now they have a daughter, Allison, who is a wonderful athlete and who it’s fun to see and read about in the papers and just kind of recapitulate their athletic endeavors because Coach Honeycutt was a wonderful athlete. Gwen, his wife was a wonderful athlete.

Lack: ______________( can’t hear tape)

Bradley: To some degree, not in terms of having participated at a university, some a little bit in high school. What’s interesting is that I’ve always been proud that they’ve all been hard workers. They have all seen the value of education and being educated and also try to work out, some more than others, but to go and to run and to do cardiovascular exercise. Some of them are running triathlons and some of them marathons and things like that, but yes, being interested in the things you would hope they would grow up and be interested in.

Being interested in academics, having a nice family life and to take care of themselves in terms of the physical aspects that you can’t make them do.

Lack: Do you have two daughters?

Bradley: I have two daughters and I have a stepson. So it was fun to go and see my stepson when he was running in high school and so that was fun. My daughters, to see them grow and develop. One of my daughters dropped out of college. You know, if you’re an academician, you certainly don’t want your daughter dropping out, but that was the best thing for her at the time and she didn't know what she wanted to do.

So for a year and a half, she worked and then she realized what she wanted to do. She went back to nursing school and is a nurse. That’s what she always wanted to do and it’s been her career and she’s always been extremely happy. But if I had tried to force her into something, it wouldn’t have worked.

My stepson got a degree here at UNCW in English, went out and worked, found out that wasn’t it and came back to the education department and got certified and is now a middle school teacher here in Wilmington and has one child and one on the way. So here he is with this consummate family type situation, loves his job, is a great teacher and what else could you ask for. It’s terrific, but for a while there, he didn't know where he wanted to go, which direction he wanted to take.

My other daughter knew the direction she wanted. She went to ECU, being our bitter rivals; I could always root for them in football and enjoyed the football games. Then she went off and has always tried to come back to her roots in terms of schooling which was health and wellness and so has concentrated on that and is now very active in running and triathlons and marathons. Each in their own way.

Lack: That’s great, that’s pretty good.

Bradley: But I think that that’s what you like to see. Sometimes it’s hard to let them make their own decisions, but I’m practiced at that. You know, being a teacher, you have to let people fail if they want to cause that’s their choice. Of course as a therapist, you can’t make people do things. They have to decide that they’re going to change. So it all works out together.

Lack: Well thank you very much. Do you have any other comments?

Bradley: Well I’m sure you heard the story probably about the bear on campus. Again I do know it was over by Friday Hall and it wasn’t Friday Hall at that time and that was out because there wasn’t other stuff around. So there were very few buildings. So there was so much more woods. Well somehow or another, this poor old bear got on campus and caused a great commotion because everybody had to see the bear.

Finally it was scared to death, a little black bear, it went up the tree. People would come and look and look. All this commotion and of course the bear wasn’t going anywhere until everybody leaves and it’s quiet enough for long enough and the bear can leave. I don’t remember if they called Animal Control office or not to see about the bear. But you know we still have tremendous acreage here of woods and I’m sure lots of animals. That poor bear created such a commotion and I’m sure it was scared half to death. It was a baby.

Lack: I have heard that, but I can’t remember where.

Bradley: Yeah, big event, big event. Well in the Wilmington newspaper, I’m not sure when the Seahawks started, I’m not sure if that was actually in existence. I hate to be so terrible with dates and everything, but there was so much that went on that wasn’t really chronicled. We’re just sort of lucky if we have things.

We have Pat Smith who’s head of Alumni Relations and it’s fortunate we have her. I taught her. She was in my class with her boyfriend who was a basketball player. She was a cheerleader. There’s still pictures around of her cheering and everything and it’s really neat to see. She’s gone on to different things and then come back here to the university. When I think of all the people that I’ve taught that now work here at the university, it’s really amazing and I feel very thankful and appreciative that I’ve had that opportunity.

I can remember Tom Lamont, his wife works here and he teaches here part-time teaching a course, but he also works in Alumni Relations. I remember when he was on the baseball team and I was taking him around and everything and he would be practicing then.

He was a pitcher, but he would be practicing being an announcer which then he later became and of course I think he has his master’s in communication, I know he teaches in that department and I’m sorry if I’m wrong about his degree, but he became the news director of a television station here in town. So from this very beginning where here he is doing this stuff, entertaining us on these trips, which it’s kind of interesting that he was probably much better at that than he was at pitching. I think he probably would even admit that. Now he has a wife that works here, has a lovely daughter. It’s just really nice to see all these people.

Lack: Right, that shows that we’re more mature and keeping people here because if you go over to ECU, they have a lot of alumni working there.

Bradley: Well you want to be able to have it both ways, that you have people that can get a job at other places because they are competitive, but that also if you would like to have them be able to work here, then they would want to so you have the best of both worlds.

Lack: I think Pat Smith, she has so many memories.

Bradley: Of course, she has so much of our institutional memory that that is a wonderful situation for us certainly. And then to have Lamont over there too, it just adds to it.

Lack: Thank you, I appreciate it.

Bradley: You’re welcome, you’re very welcome.

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