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Interview with Joseph Francis Dunn, May 29, 2002 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with Joseph Francis Dunn, May 29, 2002
May 29, 2002
Joseph ("Joe") Francis Dunn was a faculty member in business at Wilmington College and UNCW. He began teaching in 1968 and retired in 1980. Prior to teaching in Wilmington, Mr. Dunn had retired from a long career in the U.S. Army. He discusses his time at UNCW, the courses he taught, life in the Army, and his life in the Wilmington area.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Dunn, Joseph Francis Interviewer: Lack, Adina Date of Interview: 5/29/2002 Series: Voices of UNCW Length: 58 minutes

Lack: Today is May 29, 2002 and my name is Adina Lack. I’m the archivist and I’m here at the university archives with Joseph Francis Dunn, Joe Dunn as he is known, who was a professor here. He arrived at UNCW which was Wilmington College in 1968.

Dunn: January 1968, right.

Lack: And you were here until 1980?

Dunn: June 1980.

Lack: And then you retired. So we’re looking very much forward to getting some information from you Joe, about your time here and what brought you here, but first I’d like to know a little bit about where you’re from. Were you born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?

Dunn: Yes.

Lack: Is that correct? Did you grow up in Pennsylvania?

Dunn: Yeah, sure did. I grew up, I spent the first 25 years of my life in Pittsburgh.

Lack: Really.

Dunn: I went to grammar school, St. Athanasius. I’m a Roman Catholic. I went to St. Athanasius Grade School and I was living in a little suburb of Pittsburgh called Swissvale so I went to Swissvale High School. When I finished, I went to the University of Pittsburgh and graduated in 1940 and I was always interested in the Army so when I was at the university, I took the ROTC course. When I graduated, I received a commission in the Reserves. Three days after I graduated, I went on active service and stayed on active service for the next 28 years.

Lack: Really. So that meant you traveled?

Dunn: Yes, I was a commissioned officer and I spent seven years in Europe and five years in Asia.

Lack: Was this during the war?

Dunn: Yes, from 1940 to 1968. It was during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. I served in Vietnam, I served briefly in Korea and Okinawa and Japan. My European service was mostly in Germany, Belgium and France. I married a girl, a local girl here during the war in 1943 and she was a local girl so during all my military service, she was with me except on several occasions when I couldn’t take her.

We have four children. The first child was born here in Wilmington during the war. I didn't see him until he was 18 months old.

Lack: Really.

Dunn: And the other children were born, the other three children were born in Army hospitals, one in Germany and two of them at Fort Monroe, Virginia. During my military service, I always realized that I would be retiring early in life so I had to look forward to some sort of a profession after my military service was completed. I always looked forward to teaching at a university.

During my military service, I was fortunate enough to earn a Master’s degree in Arts at the University of Minnesota and a Master of Education at Loyola College in Baltimore so when I graduated, I had sufficient documentation to get appointed here at the university. I joined the university in January of ’68.

This was also a very logical place for me to retire from the service because my wife is a local girl and she grew up here so we had Wrightsville Beach. When we had vacation time, the children always wanted to go to Wrightsville Beach so we came back here all during those years. So we were not strangers to Wilmington in ’68 when I retired and came on board here.

Lack: Well you were first stationed in Wilmington?

Dunn: Yes, in 1942, there was a large Army camp, Camp Davis, 25 miles north and I was posted here in February of 1942. I remember when I got off the train out there, we were in a very severe snow storm and here I’m moving south and I’m in a snow storm. Later on I discovered it was the worst winter storm they had in the Wilmington area during that 1941-42 winter.

Lack: Oh I bet. Any kind of snow storm is terrible here because people don’t take care of it.

Dunn: But we were very busy at Camp Davis in those days. I didn't get into Wilmington until April of ’42. I remember very vividly coming into Wilmington my first trip. All the azaleas were out and I remember riding down with a friend of mine in a convertible riding down Market Street from the cemetery, from the national cemetery down on Market Street down to the river. I couldn’t believe all the beautiful flowers I saw. My friend was driving so when we got down to the river, I said let’s go back, I wanted to see it again so we drove back. I had never seen such an array of beautiful flowers, all colors.

My first 25 years in Pittsburgh, we didn't have that. We had a very unique first place as far as Pittsburgh was concerned in those years. We had the number one rating for the most polluted city in the county. So when I got here, I arrived here and saw this area, I couldn’t believe it. Of course it wasn’t long until I found Wrightsville Beach and that’s where I spent most of my time when I could leave Camp Davis.

Fortunately I was introduced to some lovely people here in Wilmington and that’s how I met my wife. I met my wife on a blind date arranged by her mother and our first date, I took her to church. So we walked from her house to the church that first date on Sunday morning. Of course I made quite an impression on her I believe because I was wearing my white uniform. From there on, it was courting and we married in July of ’43. Then we moved off and we were moving around the world for the next 28 years.

Lack: What is her name?

Dunn: Josephine.

Lack: Okay, Joseph and Josephine. What was her maiden name?

Dunn: Josephine Brown.

Lack: Okay and she’s from here and she got to come back here.

Dunn: It was fortunate that the university was starting up and they had openings. This was our preferred place. We could have retired any place in the United States, but this was our preferred place because all during those years that we were traveling around the world, we’d come back here to Wrightsville Beach with the children on leave and vacation time. So we had a lot of friends here, local friends.

Lack: And you didn't have a desire to go back to Pittsburgh. People from Pittsburgh tend to be very loyal.

Dunn: Oh sure.

Lack: But if their family is there, people want to stay and all that.

Dunn: I just couldn’t forego the ocean. The ocean just attracted me and Wrightsville Beach was a big attraction for me and my wife of course and the children. My wife in her youth through high school, they used to spend the whole summer at Wrightsville Beach. They had property there and so she was very familiar and liked it. So we had something in common very early. The children seemed to like it so we came back here during all those years. So when I had a chance to secure this appointment here, I said fine, let’s go.

Lack: What is your attraction to the beach?

Dunn: I’m not a fisherman; I’m not a boater. I’m a surf bather I guess you’d call it, ride the waves without a board. My wife is the same way. In our earlier years, we can’t do it anymore, but we’d go down there and spend the day just romping around in the surf. I never owned a boat, but I had two brother-in-laws here in town and they were always taking me fishing in their boats so I got plenty of fishing in during that period of time. My addiction to the ocean was surf bathing.

Lack: Once you live here and get used to it, you probably don’t enjoy swimming in a swimming pool as much as the ocean.

Dunn: Well you see growing up, we didn't have the ocean in Pittsburgh. But I always had an affinity for swimming. I liked to swim. So we’d have to use the swimming pools that were there in the parks. So when I got to the ocean I said this is where I want to be for recreation. It’s a big draw for me.

Lack: How old were your children when you moved back here?

Dunn: My oldest boy was about…he was born in ’44 and I came back here in ’68. Then Ellen was the next one, she was a freshman here when we came back. When we were in Europe, our last assignment in Europe, she left us and came back to Wilmington and lived with her grandmother and was a freshman here. The other daughter, Madeline, our first child was named Joseph Jr. and the second Ellen and the third Madeline and the fourth child Ted. Madeline and Ted were in high school when we got back here.

We had run into a huge problem when we got here in ’68. You see our children wherever we were, our children attended what we called Army Dependent School and there were no racial problems. The African Americans were entering the service and their children were in the classes with all the other children. There was no bar, no color line. Ellen was a freshman here and didn't run into the problem. But Joe had left us and joined the Army.

The other two children, Madeline and Ted, came back here and left the Army school system and entered the public school system and that was the first year of integration in ’68 and it was a very difficult time for our two children because they didn't understand why they couldn’t talk to the black children, to the African American children. It was awful for them. But Madeline was only one year in high school and she graduated. But Ted spent two or three years in high school here right at that time and it was a very, very tense situation. He lived through it. That’s what we ran into when we first got back here.

Lack: There was resistance to the integration on the white side.

Dunn: Big time.

Lack: Even now you don’t really hear too much about it. People don’t want to talk about it too much casually.

Dunn: I used to talk to Ted, settle him down. He said if he talked to his fellow African American students, the white students wouldn’t have anything to do with him.

Lack: Really?

Dunn: When I heard that, I said oh boy, I’ve got a problem here. It was fairly difficult, but he got by. He fortunately was a very gifted student so he had that working for him. He graduated and Madeline graduated and Ellen graduated. Madeline and Ellen both graduated from UNCW. Ted went on to UNC-Chapel Hill and graduated from there.

Lack: That was an interesting time. I suppose here at UNCW it was officially integrated I believe starting in 1966 I think or something like that, the first black students enrolled at UNCW. Maybe it just took some time before more students came.

Dunn: But my children didn't notice it here. Both girls went through here and they didn't notice it that there was any differential.

Lack: It was mostly in the public schools.

Dunn: Boy, it was tough.

Lack: Did they go to New Hanover?

Dunn: Hoggard. We lived in the Oleander area on the side of Oleander that went to Hoggard. The other side of Oleander went to New Hanover High School. Hoggard was a brand new school in those days.

Lack: It was probably very appealing. A lot of people wanted to go there.

Dunn: Yeah, my wife’s niece was the math instructor, math teacher there. She later became the principal of New Hanover High School.

Lack: Well I’m sure it was culture shock coming to a still pretty small town, southern town, and you being from the north and your children seem like they had a very worldly outlook.

Dunn: They went to school with African children and they went to school with Asiatic children, Korean children, Japanese children, American black children. The school system that was run by the Army was very effective and very much oriented toward teaching. See they had no discipline problem. The teachers had a wonderful opportunity to teach and they took advantage of it so we were very fortunate in that respect.

I guess we were, the children were with us in Europe. The children were with us in Okinawa and the children were with us in I don’t know how many different states. So they were well traveled. They still talk about their experiences when they get together and discuss things. So I guess it was a very broadening experience for the children. For instance me, I don’t think I left the state until I was a junior or senior in college. Well it was the Depression years and we didn't have the money to travel. It was just the opposite with our children. They just traveled everywhere.

Lack: They traveled at a young age. So then when you came back, you know you wanted a teaching job. Did you wish to teach in the business department or was there a special …

Dunn: Yeah, my undergraduate work was that I was a business administration student, an accounting major when I graduated from college. Then when I went to Minnesota, I studied economics. When I went to Loyola, my major was history, but my degree was in education administration so I was happy to join the business faculty because I felt very comfortable. I could teach those subjects because of my graduate and undergraduate work.

Lack: I’m sure being a retired military, you had a whole set of experiences in education.

Dunn: Oh yes, I taught at Loyola College for three years and I taught in our command general staff college for three years. I taught in our artillery school for a year and a half so I was very comfortable with the transition. The people I met off the bat were very friendly, very cooperative. I probably had more classroom experience than anybody in the department. It never phased me or them even though it wasn’t at the university level. But it was at the university level at Loyola. It’s a very distinguished Jesuit school.

Lack: You found yourself teaching in the department. I’ll show you this picture here – it says here, “Joseph Dunn instructs one of the first classes in transportation at Wilmington College.” I saw here that the coordinator of the program was Dr. West and “The Department of Business offers degrees in business with emphasis in accounting, general business or business education and a fourth field of emphasis of transportation has been approved by the academic counsel for inclusion in next year’s curriculum” and this is from the Fledgling 1969 yearbook. What was the transportation concentration?

Dunn: That was interesting. That was one of my first subjects I taught, transportation. The reason the Board of Governors or whatever you call them, there were one or two members of the board who had business interest about the harbor, the port and they wanted the university to become aware of it and get in the area of teaching transportation because this was always a port city. We were settled here in 1730 or whatever it was because of the harbor. The harbor provided a means of moving a lot of pine products across the globe so we had been a transportation hub city for years.

So they wanted the university to get into that field in the business area. So I taught basic transportation and then I taught a course in motor transportation, a course in water transportation.

Lack: Did you cover it from a historical point of view?

Dunn: From an industry point of view. The courses in motor and basic transportation and water transportation and air transportation was from an industry point of view how these different modes of transportation were integral parts of the industrial activities of our entire economy. It was a very eye-opening experience for these young people to get a grasp of the scope and size of the transportation scheme of things in our entire economy.

Lack: Sure, well it is huge when you think about automobiles and then before that the railroad and then of course air.

Dunn: If you can’t move it, you can’t sell it. Our economy is based on exchange so you had to move it. The interesting, history played a part there because I was able to point out that when we first settled on the east coast, we used the rivers and when we got a little better organized, we used horse and wagon and then we got involved with the railroads and we put the horse aside and did the railroad thing and we could move lots of cargo.

Of course then motor took over and the airlines took over. You could develop a very clear historical background or trend on how transportation helped us across the whole years of our existence here in the United States.

Lack: Was it a popular concentration?

Dunn: Yeah, there were a number of students involved and they seemed to like it. They were very interested students. The students I handled here were very hard-working and I could identify with them.

Lack: Of course by the time you got here, they were offering the four year degree. It was very much growing I can imagine.

Dunn: All the years I had the privilege of teaching here, we grew. It was a wonderful experience from that point of view because we were experiencing growth. The faculty responded accordingly, the staff responded accordingly and the students responded accordingly. It was not a static environment. It wasn’t a recession type environment. It was growth.

So when you had the growth and the new faculty who were coming in after me were wonderful people. They put the shoulder right to the harness and worked just as hard as any of us. So it was very invigorating, stimulating environment to be a part of.

Lack: I’m sure. It sounds like it was refreshing.

Dunn: Yes, very stimulating. I got to make trips for symposiums in transportation and business. I remember I was at Stanford for three months one year, one summer, working in transportation.

Lack: Stanford in California?

Dunn: Yes, Stanford University in California. It’s quite a place. Then I went to different symposiums and conferences on the east coast to Washington, D.C. on transportation and to Houston, Texas. They have a wonderful port down there and I was sent down there for several days to see how they ran their operation. I would frequently go down to our port and watch them operate, talk to them, so I got a lot of first hand experience that way. They seemed to be interested in the university and how it was developing.

Lack: Did students go into that line of work?

Dunn: Yes, there were, I’m trying to think of the first ones. I’m telling you it was something else. They mostly went into motor transportation. They had more job opportunities in motor transportation than air or water. One of the young fellows I remember coming in to me and saying that he was going to join the FAA, the Federal Aviation Authority.

He was going to work in the control tower and they were going to send him to school for I don’t know four or five months to get himself up to speed and so forth as far as their techniques were concerned. After about two months, he came back and his head was down and he said, “I quit”. I said, “What do you mean you quit?”

He said, “When I saw those blips up on that radar screen little ______ marks on that radar screen moving all around there on the screen and each one of those blips represented about 150 people in those airplanes, I got nervous. I couldn’t handle it. I give up, I’m going to go to motor transportation”. (laughter) So he lasted a couple of months and said that’s enough for me.

I guess the transportation as a major phased out after about two or three years and the emphasis was reduced in the department and I think by the time I finished teaching in 1980, we only had one course left and that was the basic 3R course in transportation to give the students some idea of how important it was to move people and products in order to make the economy work.

Lack: That was one change you saw in the curriculum. Were there other changes that you saw?

Dunn: Let me see. The emphasis picked up during my stay in marketing and finance. We had some new faculty, new members joined us who were in the field of finance and marketing. It was very attractive, it attracted a lot of students, marketing particularly. Accounting always was very popular. I always kind of laugh, when I started to teach I asked Dr. West right up front, “Now I want to teach one course in basic accounting every semester”. He said okay, he could arrange that.

When he stepped down and Norm Kaylor joined us and became the chairman, I talked him into the same thing. So I was always interested in that because that’s what my major in undergraduate work was. I managed to teach a basic course in accounting just about every semester I was here.

I remember in one of the summer courses I taught, I tried to teach one summer session every year and one summer I guess I don’t know what year it was, ’72, ’73, I forget, all of a sudden two girls showed up in class. That was the first time I ever saw a girl in an accounting class. I couldn’t believe it. Both girls, their last name was Brown, but no relation. Funny, I can still remember those two girls sitting in the back. Then the girls started to come on board in accounting.

I could see it because I kept teaching that basic course all through the 12 years I was here. By the time I finished in 1980, those sections I was teaching, there were more girls in the accounting classes than boys and the girls were leading the class.

Lack: Isn’t that interesting?

Dunn: Yes, they were getting the better grades.

Lack: You know, it wasn’t until a certain point when it started, in the early 70’s.

Dunn: Yes, I started that accounting thing in ’68, finished in 1980 and in those 12 years, I would say somewhere in the area of 75-76, the girls dominated the class in the sense that there were more girls in the class than there were boys and by golly, they were able to lead the class. It always interested me because I was trained in it very early so I was very comfortable with teaching that, but I didn't want to teach any of the advanced courses. I just wanted to teach the basic courses so I was able to do that.

Then I taught other courses. I taught the principles of management which I enjoyed very much. I taught a couple of courses in finance and a couple of courses in economics and, of course, transportation. When I wasn’t teaching transportation, I was teaching either accounting or economics.

Lack: And I remember, we had interviewed Norman Kaylor, and he said that you were very gracious when he visited. You took him all around. Were you responsible for recruiting him?

Dunn: I helped, yeah. When he came on board he said he was looking for a house. So I told him to get in the car and we’d go look.

Lack: That’s right and you showed him all the expensive homes (laughter).

Dunn: I took him into the expensive area.

Lack: Yeah, it’s good to show that they’re there, something to aspire to. He was impressed probably.

Dunn: I think so. He was a fine fellow. I enjoyed working with him all the time I was here and we would fuss at each other every now and then, but then we’d make up. He was a great leader. I enjoyed being with the department when he was running it.

Lack: Right because he was department chair. And after Dr. West?

Dunn: He succeeded West. When I came on board, West was the chairman and I guess it was two or three years later that Norman Kaylor came on board. He became chairman shortly after he got here. I think he’s still teaching.

Lack: He might be.

Dunn: Part-time or whatever it is.

Lack: So how about Dr. West? We don’t know much about him. What was he like to work for?

Dunn: West had an interesting background. He was from Virginia and we would talk periodically about his background. It was interesting. He graduated from VPI which is Virginia Polytechnic Institute [and State University, also known as Virginia Tech], some time in the 30’s. I graduated in 1940, but he was either older than me or smarter than me. He graduated some time between ’35 and ’40 from VPI.

At the time he was there, VPI was what they call a military college like the Citadel and VMI, but you didn't have to join the Corps of Cadets. You could be a non-corps student and that’s what he was. He was not a member of the Corps of Cadets. He was a student that was there taking these courses, but not in the Cadet Corps. Now most of the students were what they call cadets and they would go to class in uniform and they would march to dinner and mealtime, but they’d walk separately to classrooms.

He explained to me that he was not interested in the Army part. But he apparently got a scholarship or something to VPI and he wound up graduating from VPI. I said, “Well when did you graduate?” He said he thought it was in the late 30’s. I asked him what happened to him during the war. He laughed and said, “I was drafted” (laughter). It seems to me he said, “shortly after, I went to OCS and became an officer”, but as soon as the war was over, he said I left the service.

I asked him what he thought of the service. He said, “Well Joe, I didn't like it”. And here I was working for a guy who didn't like the service and I was a professional Army officer, retired. But it didn't make any difference. I never noticed any difference on the part of his background versus my background. I got along beautifully with him and we worked together very well. I think we did.

Then he had some medical problems and retired a year after I retired and moved off to Virginia and I think he died one or two years after he retired. He had a bad heart. He had a heart operation when he was teaching here. It really got to him I guess, but he didn't live long after that. After he retired and moved off, I lost contact with him. He was from Virginia and I think he went back home there.

Lack: He was not fond of the military life. He preferred civilian life.

Dunn: Yeah, well there were a lot of men drafted in World War II you know that was the main vehicle, the draft to get people into service. I’m sure a lot of them were not…they were patriotic in the sense they did their job, but when it was all over and they looked back, they said they just didn't enjoy it, which was only natural because it was a very disciplined life. It was a lot of movement. A lot of the men didn't like that.

Lack: When you retired, what was your rank?

Dunn: I was a lieutenant colonel when I retired.

Lack: We have quite a few people who came here, Lee Sherman, who I’m sure I’ll interview, he was the same.

Dunn: I think so, I’m not sure, but I think so. He came on board after I did.

Lack: I’ll be talking to him soon I’m sure. I have to work out the schedules of people. And of course Tom Burke was military. We actually have a very active interview program for World War II veterans.

Dunn: Oh really.

Lack: Yeah and so if you don’t mind, maybe I’ll give your name to the person that’s coordinating that because I’m not a military historian so we didn't talk too much about that today. Maybe if they are able to, they can contact you and talk to you about your time in the service.

Dunn: I’d be happy to.

Lack: Because we really are focusing on the World War II era at this point, people who served at that time.

Dunn: I was very happy in the service.

Lack: Well that’s good because it is a good life if you can hack it.

Dunn: I was always interested in it. None of my brothers, my brothers were all too old to be in the service. We had in our family no professional military people and I was the first one and only one I think. Now I’ve got a grandchild that may stay with it.

Lack: Really?

Dunn: Yeah.

Lack: Any children?

Dunn: None of my children stayed with it.

Lack: They didn't retire from it. It is beneficial like you were saying because you can retire quite young.

Dunn: Yeah, I think I was in the early 50’s when I had 28 years service and this job opportunity became available. The assignments in the service were available this way. It worked out that I was in my early 50’s when I left the service and joined the faculty here. Military life, if you get started by the time you’re in your early 20’s, you get your 30 years or 28 years or whatever you want to serve, then you’re in your 50’s, very early 50’s, so you’re still vigorous, and can get into another career.

Lack: Did your wife enjoy it?

Dunn: Oh she was more interested in travel than I was. She liked to travel.

Lack: Is that part of the appeal of the military, the travel?

Dunn: Well basically it was a question of patriotism on my part. I don’t know, I guess I really got interested in the Army because I liked to read history in grade school and high school and college. I was always reading history. I guess that stimulated my interest in a military career.

When I married Josephine and we started to travel, she was just delighted. So travel was a very enjoyable part of the military life. The Army always made a big effort to keep the families together. We would travel together as a family. When I went to Europe, I took my wife and all my children on the boat with me. When I went to Japan, it was the same way.

For instance, when we went to Japan, we drove across country, put the car on the boat, got on the boat and went to Japan and got off the boat in Japan with the car and drove to Tokyo.

Lack: That’s quite an adventure.

Dunn: Well when you take a wife and four children and move from Wilmington, North Carolina across the country in your car and then you cross the ocean with them, and we had the schoolbooks with us. We were teaching the children.

Lack: You get to know them quite well.

Dunn: Yeah, it’s a very family oriented experience. You’re with your children, you’re with your wife and the Army so far as I was concerned, was very considerate of that.

Lack: Were you here when there was an ROTC program?

Dunn: I had retired before they brought that on. I remember the chancellor had me out once or twice for a military formation, but I didn’t become acquainted with the instructors. I don’t think it lasted too long.

Lack: We have some information in our archives, some scrapbooks, but I’m not sure offhand of the dates, but you’re right. It certainly isn’t around now.

Dunn: It was too bad because I think the community would support it. This is a very military oriented community and support things like that.

Lack: Perhaps with our being close to Jacksonville.

Dunn: Yes, but we’ve always had a junior ROTC program at New Hanover High School. It was very popular. A lot of the boys became interested in the military and I think the community supported it.

Lack: That would be interesting if it came back, to know that there is support in the community. Well would you care to take a break? Just to continue where we were before, this is continuation of the interview with Joe Dunn about his time before and after and during his tenure at Wilmington College and UNCW. If you could before we leave today, do you remember the transition from Wilmington College to UNCW? Were you familiar with Dr.Wagoner?

Dunn: Yes, I’m trying to think who preceded Dr. Wagoner.

Lack: Dr. Randall.

Dunn: Randall, I was here when he was here. I came on board when he was here. Then Wagoner took over and he was there as chancellor when I retired. Now an interesting experience we had was, there was an architect in town by the name of Altabelis. He had the contract to build Bear Hall. So I remember one afternoon he came into the office there and he gathered up two or three of us in the business department. I think Ruby was in the crowd.

“Gentleman”, he says, “We’re going to select the location of your new building. We’re going to call it Bear Hall. I’ve got the contract to build it so let’s go over and select the location”. So we walked over and he pointed this out and that out. He said, “Now where would you like it”. So we said we like it right here. So we got in on locating Bear Hall. Now he said, “I’ll tell you what I’m going to do for you fellows. I’m going to give you more space than you thought you were going to get”.

So we wanted to know how he was going to give us more space. He said, “I’m going to put the stairs on the outside of the building, so you’ll have more space for office and classrooms inside the building”. So if you look at Bear Hall before it was added to, you’ll see that those steps are on the back. But he was a fine gentleman. I remember meeting him socially in Wilmington before that and after that and we always used to talk about what a fine job he did building the Bear building. He died I don’t know how long ago. He wanted to cut the faculty in on his mission to build the building.

Lack: Well that’s neat. Now, of course, there are always efforts to involve faculty, but I think at certain levels like meeting with contractors, I don’t know if faculty has that opportunity anymore.

Dunn: I watched them build it. I’d come over after class, walk over, provide the sidewalk superintendent support, seeing the bricks being laid and the building going up. We weren’t allowed inside the building while it was being built, but I’d walk around.

Lack: So you moved from Hoggard to Bear Hall.

Dunn: Yes, I remember when we moved, I had to move my own stuff. Whatever was in my office, I had to put in my car, take it across the campus. I had no help. It was the same way with all the faculty members. You do it yourself. I don’t know how long it took, but I didn't have a great deal. I remember moving into Bear and it was a big improvement.

Lack: Was it just the business department that was there for a while?

Dunn: Yeah, we had it exclusively. I think the sociology department came in shortly after we got there, but that was a small operation. We dominated it.

Lack: It says here that I think a quarter of all the Bachelor of Arts degrees were awarded from the business department. So you had a lot of students and still to this day, a lot of students are in that department. It’s a busy department and I’m sure it was then too.

Dunn: It was, yeah, fortunately. And we were expanding, as I said, we were expanding all the time adding additional faculty members. They were very helpful. I had a grand time with them. They were full of life and they were really interested in the students because that’s what this is all about, the students.

Lack: I think it’s really great that you were able to come here after your military career. Did you always have an affinity for teaching and kind of knew you wanted to do that once you retired at the college level?

Dunn: Yeah, at the college level. See, in the Army you have infantry, armor and artillery. I was an artillery officer. Most combat arms or combat support arms, you’re always teaching, you’re always training your subordinates. You’re being trained by your superiors. So instructing was part of the job.

I remember as a second lieutenant, I was doing it and as a colonel I was doing it, instructing. You were being instructed all the time because the Army, in those days, was devoted to training. That’s the only way you’re going to keep it up.

Lack: So you found that rewarding. What about, were you involved in committees and did you have to get into the administrative work as well?

Dunn: Very limited committee work. I was the advisor to one of the student groups, I’m trying to think what student group it was called. I was their advisor that was in the business department, but committee work was very limited.

Lack: I’m sure now they wish it could be that way.

Dunn: There’s a lot of it now.

Lack: I’m sure a lot of people would love to just teach and do their research. So it sounds like you were also involved in research and writing.

Dunn: I wrote a booklet or pamphlet on the port, but that’s the only writing I ever did. I think it’s in the archives here.

Lack: Is it? I was going to say if it’s not, I’ll let you know. I’ll look it up. We have here in the archives a faculty scholarship collection where we collect writings, articles. We even have newspaper columns. I actually just clipped yesterday. A political science professor wrote a column in the paper so I clipped that. We collect great literature, not just peer review. That is something we would probably want in our southeast North Carolina collection, your pamphlet. Well it was great to have you here. Do you have any other remembrances that I might have missed? We have a few moments left.

Dunn: Well I enjoyed my years here and I was very much stimulated by the students and the faculty, people I worked with and I wish the university continued success.

Lack: Well thank you for coming.

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