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0:00 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: HT: Today is Monday, September 24, 2012. My name is Hermann Trojanowski, and I'm at the home of Dr. Yvonne Cheek in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Segment Synopsis: Interview introduction

0:26 - Background and family

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, let's get started by my asking you about your background, such as where you were born, and when, and that sort of thing.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes her family and background, including her parents and siblings.

6:23 - Attending the Henderson Institute (part 1)

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, tell me about where you went to high school.

YC: I went to Henderson Institute in Henderson, North Carolina which, when it was founded, was like a boarding school for black students.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek briefly describes attending the Henderson Institute in Henderson NC for high school.

6:55 - Interest in music

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Partial Transcript: YC: I was a - in the choir - no, I was in the band most of the time that I was there, and I played occasionally for the choir.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes her interest in music growing up, including taken and teaching piano lessons, and playing organ for local churches.

9:09 - 4-H involvement

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Partial Transcript: YC: My sisters and I were also 4-H champions. We had a wonderful mentor; Mrs. Roscoe.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes being a 4-H champion, and receiving a 4-H scholarship after being rejected from a national conference because of her race.

12:08 - The Henderson Institute (part 2)

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, what were your favorite subjects in high school? Do you recall?

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes her favorite courses at The Henderson Institute.

12:30 - Decision to attend UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: And what year did you graduate from high school?

YV: Sixty-three.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek details her decision to attend UNCG, including that her cousin, Emma Lois Hairston attended.

14:06 - First day on campus

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, what do you recall about your first days on campus in the fall of 1963?

YC: Shock, utter shock. I went from an all-black high school to a just about all-white college.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes her first few days on campus. She mentions dressing too formally and being the only black person in her classes.

16:04 - Lack of interaction with white classmates and faculty

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Partial Transcript: YC: One of the things that was uncomfortable for me, though, it was when I would go to class, there was never any camaraderie, no chit-chat, no "how are you doing? How are things going?"

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes a lack of interaction and a lack of camraderie with her fellow students as well as many of her instructors.

18:27 - Busy schedule of a music student

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Partial Transcript: YC: And the thing is, I always had at least two jobs and so I was on a very rigid schedule.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes a full schedule as a music education student with two jobs.

18:53 - Safe atmosphere on campus

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Partial Transcript: YC: If I didn't have a bicycle, I wouldn't have been able to make it. And it was funny; you'd just ride your bicycle and lean it up against the building and go to your classes.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes the safe atmosphere on campus, students not locking doors and just leaving their bicycles out.

19:15 - Favorite courses

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, what do you recall about your favorite subject or subjects

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes her favorite subjects and courses. Cheek also mentions auditing classes outside her major every semester. Cheek also describes working hard academically to not fail.

21:53 - Working on campus

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Partial Transcript: HT: You say you worked another job on campus as well?

YC: I had two jobs on campus.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes the jobs she worked while at UNCG. She mentions her humiliation at making coffee for white faculty. Cheek also describes nude modeling for art classes, and working in the library.

25:08 - Choosing Music Education as a major

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Partial Transcript: HT: I think you said your major was music education; is that correct?

YC: Right.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes her choice to become a music education major.

25:47 - Life as a Music Education major

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, tell me about what it was like being a music major, because I'm not really familiar with that area of schooling.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes her life as a music education major, all of the practices and the concerts that were required.

27:17 - Traveling with the chorale and Dr. Cox

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Partial Transcript: HT: Do you recall taking any trips with the choir or the chorale?

YC: Oh, I did, yes. I had forgotten about that.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes Dr. Richard Cox and traveling with the chorale.

29:23 - Recreation

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, what did you do for fun at UNCG? Did you have time for fun?

Segment Synopsis: Cheek discusses visiting her cousin's room as well as seeing performances at Aycock auditorium for recreation while on campus.

31:18 - Living in the dorms

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Partial Transcript: HT: You mentioned very early that you were at Coit. Were you at Coit more than one year?

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes living in the dorms, as well as her roommates.

32:34 - Eating on and off campus

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, what did you think of the dining hall? You mention the dining hall earlier.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes eating at the dining hall, and several other places off campus. Cheek also mentions the Cinema theater being segregated still at this point

34:20 - Discrimination at church

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Partial Transcript: YC: But I want to share with you another incident, too, and that is they would send buses on Sundays to go to the churches in town...

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes being discriminated to at a local Baptist church.

36:08 - Conflict with the Dean of Students

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Partial Transcript: YC: Oh, I do remember one other thing I'd like to share with you, and that is my freshman year it really bothered me that all of us had been pre-assigned by our photos to room with each other because it was too early for race to be on the application.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek shares an incident where she was in conflict with Katherine Taylor, the Dean of Students regarding the black students being housed together.

39:56 - Tea parties in Elliott Hall (part 1)

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Partial Transcript: YC: Oh, let me tell you one of the other outstanding things that - We had teas.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek briefly describes tea parties that were held at Elliott Hall.

40:09 - Dress code

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Partial Transcript: YC: In Elliott, and I think we couldn't go unless we had on dresses. You couldn't wear pants. You would have to wear dresses and go to the-

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes the dress code on campus.

41:08 - Tea parties in Elliott Hall (part 2)

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Partial Transcript: HT: Now you mentioned the teas just a few minutes ago; did you enjoy those or were they uncomfortable?

Segment Synopsis: Cheek continues her description of the weekly tea parties.

41:35 - Dorm meetings

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Partial Transcript: HT: There was something else that they had in those days: dorm meetings. Did you ever attend those?

Segment Synopsis: Cheek briefly describes dorm meetings.

41:49 - Student teaching at Curry

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Partial Transcript: YC: I'm flitting around a little bit here, but I'm trying to think what's going to come back next in my mind, but I also wanted to share with you that I was the first black student at UNCG to teach- to do my student teaching at a white school, at Curry.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes being the first black student at UNCG to student teach at Curry.

43:23 - Being the first black RA

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Partial Transcript: YC: Yes, and my other pioneering thing was I was the first black RA at UNCG.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes being the first black Resident Assistant at UNCG. She describes how it was easy work because the students mostly did not approach her for anything.

45:45 - Barbara Bair

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Partial Transcript: YC: I did, and I must say that my senior year - Barbara Bair, who was my first real mentor-teacher, she showed me what a teacher could be.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes Barbara Bair as being one of her mentors in teaching at UNCG.

46:41 - Studying in Europe

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Partial Transcript: YC: In fact, and my second one was Dr. -what was his name, Thomas? Oh, my gosh!

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes receiving a National Endowment for the Arts scholarship to study music in Hungary. She discusses the methods she learned, learning Hungarian, and living in Hungary.

52:16 - Isolation from Civil Rights Movement

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Partial Transcript: HT: If we can go back to UNCG: do you recall any particular social or academic events that really stand out in your mind while you were at UNCG?

Segment Synopsis: Cheek discusses her focusing on her work at UNCG, and therefore being isolated from the Civil Rights Movement.

54:45 - Neo-Black Society

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Partial Transcript: YC: What I do remember though: when I was a graduate student, Betty, my sister - her black conscious awareness was much more advanced than mine.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek talks about being the advisor for the newly formed Neo-Black Society.

58:29 - Dr. Ada Fisher

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, I interviewed Dr. Ada Fisher several years ago.

YC: Oh, my, she's a card. She was always a wild woman and she still is isn't she?

Segment Synopsis: Cheek and Trojanowski discuss their interactions with Dr. Ada Fisher.

60:28 - Lack of dating opportunities

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Partial Transcript: YC: That reminds me: when you mentioned her name, you know, when we chose to go to UNCG, many of us did not realize what a choice we were making in terms of social life...

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes the lack of dating opportunity when also having to work with her classes.

61:27 - Social interaction with A&T students

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Partial Transcript: YC: Extremely, because first of all the guys from A&T were intimidated to come over to UNCG. I mean, it was like another world.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes the social separation between students at UNCG and at A&T.

63:32 - UNCG becoming coeducational

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, men came to UNCG in the fall of 1964 for the first time.

YC: I didn't see any. They were very sparse.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek and Trojanowski discuss the school becoming coeducational.

64:18 - The Outing Club

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Partial Transcript: HT: Let me see. Well, you were involved in quite a few things. We've already talked about the choir and the chorale and you also...

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes being a member of The Outing Club, an outdoor club where students would ride horses.

65:38 - Campus marshals

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, we were talking earlier about the Outing Club. What about- You were also involved with the marshals on campus. Do you have any-

YC: The marshals?

Segment Synopsis: Cheek and Trojanowski discuss the campus marshal organization, although Cheek cannot recall being a member.

68:00 - Assassinations of Kennedys and King

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, the 1960s were such a turbulent time here in the United States. It started out when President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes her memories around the assassinations of John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr.

71:51 - Campus traditions

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Partial Transcript: HT: Oh, gosh. Well, what do you recall about- or do you have any recollections about the administration on campus, such as Chancellors Otis Singletary or James Ferguson.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes several campus traditions, including Tuesday Chapel, class jackets, and painting the McIver statue.

76:56 - Interactions with faculty and staff

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, you've already mentioned Dean Katherine Taylor and your run-in with her. How about Vice Chancellor Mereb Mossman; did you ever have any dealings with her?

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes some of her interactions with faculty and staff, including a run-in where a professor gave her a bad recommendation for graduate school.

80:06 - Graduate school at UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: You mentioned that you went to graduate school at UNCG. Tell me about that experience and how that was different from being an undergraduate at UNCG.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes being a graduate student at UNCG.

83:17 - Post-graduate studies

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Partial Transcript: HT: Okay. Well, after you finished the graduate degree at UNCG- and we've already talked about the Franz Liszt Academy. What about the University of St. Thomas. Was the the local St. Thomas?

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes getting her mini-MBA and PhD.

84:15 - Teaching at UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: I've gotten some of my chronology wrong so I had forgotten that you had taught at UNCG. What kind of courses did you teach and what was that experience like?

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes becoming a teacher at UNCG after graduating with her master's degree as the first black faculty member in the school of music.

86:55 - Interactions with fellow faculty

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Partial Transcript: HT: Wow, so how were you treated by the other faculty members of UNCG? Do you have any recollection of that?

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes her interactions with other faculty members after she became a professor at UNCG. She specifically mentions Harold Abeles as a friendly colleague.

89:41 - Earning a PhD

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Partial Transcript: HT: What made you finally decide to leave after four years?

YC: Well, I realized if I was serious about teaching in higher ed, I needed a PhD, and that was what I wanted to do at the time; that's what I wanted to do.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes being admitted into multiple PhD programs and a bidding war between universities to get her as a PhD candidate.

93:01 - UNCG impact

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, what impact do you think having attended UNCG and having taught there has had on your life?

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes how UNCG helped her become the educational professional that she was, that it provided lots of opportunities for her.

96:10 - Involvement with UNCG after teaching

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, have you been involved with UNCG at all since you graduated, other than the four years that you taught there?

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes her involvement as an alumni of UNCG, including speaking at a black alumni event.

99:38 - Career path

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Partial Transcript: HT: Well, I don't have any more formal questions. Do you have anything else you'd like to add to the interview?

Segment Synopsis: Cheek describes her consulting work that she began in 1993.

105:54 - Thoughts on improving modern UNCG

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Partial Transcript: HT: Wow, quite a journey you've had.

YC: Yes, and UNCG launched me on the journey.

Segment Synopsis: Cheek details her thoughts on improving minority access to UNCG.

107:40 - Conclusion

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Partial Transcript: HT: That's great. Well, thank you so much. It's been wonderful to hear your stories this morning.

Segment Synopsis: Interview conclusion

0:00

HT: Today is Monday, September 24, 2012. My name is Hermann Trojanowski, and I'm at the home of Dr. Yvonne Cheek in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is class of 1967 at UNCG [The University of North Carolina at Greensboro]. Yvonne, thank you so much for meeting with me this morning; it's great meeting you. We're here to conduct an oral history interview for the UNCG Institutional Memory Collection's African American Institutional Memory Project. Again, thank you for meeting with me this morning.

YC: It's my pleasure.

HT: Well, let's get started by my asking you about your background, such as where you were born, and when, and that sort of thing.

YC: I was born in Philadelphia, and my parents moved to North Carolina when I was five years old. And we moved to Kittrell, North Carolina, which is a little village about forty-five miles north of Raleigh on highway number one, ten miles south of Henderson. And in this sweet little village in a very cocooned atmosphere, I grew up and had a very protected environment and it was-it brought 1:00us all the joys that we could imagine in that setting because there was a junior college there; there was the railroad-The Silver Comet train went right by our house. Our relatives could get on the train in Philadelphia and Washington DC and get off two blocks from our house in this little village. I went to elementary school. I walked to my first grade, so it was just an ideal.

HT: And why did your parents move to Kittrell?

YC: Well, my parents didn't want us to grow up in the wicked city of Philadelphia. They both were from North Carolina originally, and so they wanted to move back to North Carolina. My parents had a friend whose family house was the Thorpe house and this house-they needed somebody to live in it, and so they allowed us to live in it rent-free and take care of their family home. Mr. 2:00Thorpe had been the first black postmaster in that area when he was a younger man.

HT: And what did your parents do?

YC: My mother was the breadwinner, primarily. She was a teacher, actually taught me in the fifth grade. She graduated from Fayetteville State Teacher's College. My father went to high school at A&T went to college at Hampton Institute which he loved, loved very much. He majored in auto mechanics there and then when he and my mother married, they lived in Philadelphia. He got his bachelor's degree in industrial arts at Cheney [College] but he never-he really was an artist at heart and so he would figure out ways to-he had this relationship with the world that if he did things for people, things would come back to him, so he was an excellent plumber, electrician, wood maker, and gardener. Sometimes we had forty 3:00vegetables in our garden. But he didn't make money at any of these things, which kind of irritated my mom a little bit. He did-he was an insurance agent for a little while but made very little money. He taught school for one year; industrial arts. That didn't work so well, and so he was the manager of his sister's and brother's family farm, and he was the guy at home who kind of cooked breakfast every morning and did his thing. He was also an artist-he made jewelry; he made leather pocketbooks; he was a sculptor-so if he had been born the right year, he could have declared himself an artist, but he was born in 1903 and so black men born in 1903, it was difficult to declare yourself an artist, so he just had to figure out a way to live on the fringes. He was an interesting person in that he was seventeen years older than my mother when they 4:00married, but she never-she didn't find that out until they had-she thought he was about ten years older because he lied about his age. She didn't find that out until, I think, they were married about five or six years.

HT: Well, tell me about your brothers and sisters.

YC: My sister Cheryl-Betty is two years younger than I am, and my sister Cheryl is thirteen years younger than I am. Betty also went to UNCG, and she was a year behind me. She was two years younger than me, but when I went to the first grade, I loved my teacher so much. I just loved learning-even as a little girl-so every day, whatever Mrs. Spencer taught me in the first grade, I came home and taught it to Betty, and so when Betty got to school in the first grade and by two weeks the teacher said, "Well, you know all this" so they sent her to 5:00the second grade. So she stayed two weeks in first grade because I had taught her everything I knew. Cheryl is thirteen years younger and she was a surprise baby to my parents, and Betty lives here in Minneapolis. You'll be interviewing her. She's also a consultant and has her own firm, and she graduated from UNCG, majoring in art. I majored in music education. Cheryl lives in Durham, North Carolina. She has her undergraduate degree from North Carolina Central University in nursing. She has a master's degree in-from-is it Medical University in South Carolina?

HT: Yes, in Charleston.

YC: In Charleston, South Carolina in midwifery, and then she just most recently got a master's in psychiatric nursing, and she also has a-she also studied 6:00religion and is a minister as well as being a midwife at a clinic, Women's Durham Clinic. She's been there for over fifteen years. She is a well-known midwife in North Carolina. She's kind of a little super-star.

HT: Well, tell me about where you went to high school.

YC: I went to Henderson Institute in Henderson, North Carolina which, when it was founded, was like a boarding school for black students. The teachers lived on campus. In fact, when I was there, some of the teachers still lived on campus because they had private quarters for teachers who didn't want to have their own home or live there during the week and went back to their homes in Raleigh or Durham or wherever on the weekends. I was a-in the choir-no, I was in the band 7:00most of the time that I was there, and I played occasionally for the choir. I graduated valedictorian, and I was the announcer for the school for two years. I remember it was such a high status thing that I would leave class-French class-and go make the school announcements every day at 11:20.

HT: So, it sounds like you have always been interested in music.

YC: Yes, I really-both my sisters and I started taking piano lessons when we were six years old, so it was our father's dream that we would do that. He would take us to piano lessons every Saturday morning for, it felt like, a thousand years. I took piano lessons until I was thirteen, and then at the age of thirteen my piano teacher said, "I've taught you as much as I can. I can't take you any further." So she said, "Why don't you start teaching?" And so I took 8:00piano students starting when I was thirteen.

HT: Oh, my gosh!

YC: I had piano students all day every Saturday, every hour on the hour from nine o'clock until three o'clock; charged them a dollar a lesson. That was good money back in those days.

HT: I bet it was.

YC: And I also started playing for church when I was in the fifth grade: ten dollars a Sunday. Really good money.

HT: That is truly amazing. Did you play piano or organ?

YC: Piano, at first, and then one church wanted me to play organ and I said, "Well, I don't know how to play organ" and they said "Well, we'll pay for your lessons so you can." And so I took organ lessons to play for them, and when I was in high school, I had three churches that I played for. I had a city church in Henderson that had-I played there second Sunday and fourth Sunday playing organ, and then I had another church on the first Sunday, and another church on the third Sunday. So I was making really good money, and I was busy all the time which is, I think, why I have this high energy and over-achiever; overdoing it 9:00all the time, even now, because I was just programmed that way early on.

HT: That is truly amazing.

YC: My sisters and I were also 4-H champions. We had a wonderful mentor; Mrs. Roscoe. Mrs. Esther B. Roscoe was our 4-H agent, and we entered every contest and won every contest there was, whether it was cooking or sewing or lamps or vegetables or-we were the superstars; we even made presentations at 4-H camp-4-H short course, which was in Greensboro at A&T. At that time everything was segregated. I was the president of the black 4-H Clubs of North Carolina, and Betty came along after me and was the president after I was. We were so famous for winning everything that agents from other parts of the state would call Mrs. 10:00Roscoe and say, "What area are the Cheek sisters entering this year." And if she would say "electricity," they would say, okay, we won't enter that area because they knew they would lose. They would enter another area. Even though I loved the 4-H Club and I loved all the opportunities, I had a-I was the first 4-Her in the country-the first black 4-Her in the country to go to 4-H camp in Washington, DC, and I was supposed to go to 4-H short course in Chicago the year after that. I had done everything possible; done all the right things; Mrs. Roscoe had done all the right things; and I was selected to go. And then Mrs. Roscoe got a call from the national 4-H office saying, you know, "We are so sorry to inform you but 4-H Congress is just not ready for a Negro to come." So 11:00she told my parents and my parents told me and they said, "We would appreciate you not going to the papers about this. In fact, if you don't go to the newspapers about this, we'll give Yvonne a scholarship to college," and so when my parents-we were devastated. We were shocked; we were miffed. But my parents did something I didn't expect them to do, which was, they left it up to me. They said, "It's your decision. We're going to let you think about that." I was shocked that they would leave this big thing up to me but I thought about it and I thought, you know, I really love the 4-H Club. I'm really disappointed but I think I'll take the scholarship and I won't go to the newspapers. And so that's what I did. And I'm kind of proud of my decision although if I had known better then, if I had gotten a little bit more counseling, if we had asked somebody outside, I would have asked for a bigger scholarship. But I didn't know how to negotiate at that point.

HT: How much was the scholarship worth?

YC: You know, I don't remember; I don't remember at this time, but I took it and 12:00I went to UNCG.

HT: Oh, my goodness. Well, what were your favorite subjects in high school? Do you recall?

YC: Probably English-oh, history; history and English. I think history was my number one favorite because I had such a great history teacher.

HT: And what year did you graduate from high school?

YV: Sixty-three.

HT: Sixty-three, and what made you decide to go to-well, of course it was still Woman's College in '63.

YC: It was just making the transition. The year that I arrived there was the first year that it was UNCG.

HT: Right and that will be fifty years next year.

YC: Oh no! Oh, my gosh. You know that's startling to me every time I think about that. Next year I will have entered college fifty years ago. I'm in age denial, 13:00all the way.

HT: Oh, gosh. Well, did you apply to other schools or just UNCG?

YC: I'm a little foggy on all the details, but I know that we had talked about me-I had talked about going to Hampton, my father's alma mater, but my parents said that private college was too expensive; you'll need to go here in the state. And my cousin Emma Lois Hairston, who I think you may have interviewed; I'm not sure. Her last name is-oh, my God, what is her married last name? She lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Emma Lois, oh gosh. Anyway she went to UNCG, and so her parents talked to my parents, and we thought we might as well apply. Emma Lois is there and she's doing fine and so that's how I happened to go there.

HT: You'd never thought about going anywhere else other than UNCG; except maybe Hampton.

YC: Do you know, I don't remember. I think I must have applied to some other 14:00schools but I don't have a clear memory of it.

HT: Well, what do you recall about your first days on campus in the fall of 1963?

YC: Shock, utter shock. I went from an all-black high school to a just about all-white college. And when I was a 4-H camp counselor, I had met some other camp counselors who were in college-black colleges-and they had told me how they dressed and that kind of thing so my first day, you know, I was kind of dressed up because these black students from the black colleges had told me, "You'd better dress up." And so some of the white girls looked at me and said, "Are you a teacher?" I went, "Oh, God." I am in the wrong shoes. I remember I had on some little wedge-heel shoes and I thought, "Oops, these are not the right shoes for 15:00this campus. I'm too dressed up." I also remember just how strange it felt to be the only black student in all of my classes, in all of them. And this was the way it was all four years. My freshman class had ten black girls and we all were assigned to room with each other on the first floor of Coit Hall, which we found kind of strange, but at the same time, it was kind of nice to be-to know that you could go to your room and be totally accepted without being stared at or looked at as strange. But still it felt strange that we were only on the first floor of Coit Hall. But I loved my roommate. My roommate was Carolyn Suezette 16:00Brown Roney, and we got along really, really well together. One of the things that was uncomfortable for me, though, it was when I would go to class, there was never any camaraderie, no chit-chat, no "How are you doing? How are things going?" Nobody ever talked to me in any of my classes; before class or after class. It's almost like we didn't know how to extend ourselves to each other. There was an invisible wall. They didn't know how to talk to me; I didn't know how to talk to them. Nobody ever treated me poorly. I was never insulted to my face, but I was invisible. And it still hurt to be invisible, but it just was very strange. So I, when I figured that was the case, I would arrange to get to class just three minutes before it started so I wouldn't be sitting in class ten or fifteen minutes before it started, feeling left out of the conversation because it just pinched a lot. The other thing, when I look back on it, I'm 17:00still surprised at this: that not one of my instructors ever asked-took me aside and said, "Come to my office and let's chat" to ask me "How are things going? How are you doing? How are you feeling?" Not one. And I thought, wow-

HT: Not even your advisor?

YC: Not even my advisor. No, no, no. It was all a strict transactional thing with the advisor. We didn't have that much interactions with the advisor.

HT: Do you recall what your advisor's name was, by any chance?

YC: I don't, not at all. I hardly remember having an advisor; I hardly remember that at all. In fact I'm not sure I did. If I had an advisor, it was a ten-minute relationship just to make sure I was taking the right course, and that was all; but no relationship.

HT: Right, what about interaction in the dining halls, and physical education, 18:00and places like that?

YC: In dining hall, all the black girls would sit together all the time. That was our one time to kind of have some camaraderie, and white girls would never come over and join us at our table. And I think every now and then we might eat at a white table, or we would not eat with our group, but most of the time we would eat together. And the thing is, I always had at least two jobs and so I was on a very rigid schedule. Being a music major, I needed to practice piano two hours a day, and I did. I tried to practice voice one hour a day; then I went to my classes, and then I needed time to do my homework, so I was on a very, very strict schedule. Thank goodness I had a bicycle. Coit Dorm was on one side of the campus; the Music Building was on the other side.

HT: Yes.

YC: If I didn't have a bicycle, I wouldn't have been able to make it. And it was so funny: you'd just ride your bicycle and lean it up against the building and go to your classes. Nobody would ever bother it; nobody thought about locks or 19:00taking the bicycle but everything was-I'm not ever sure we locked our doors. I can't remember locking our dorm doors. I don't think we did.

HT: Well, what do you recall about your favorite subject or subjects?

YC: Favorite subjects. Isn't that odd that I have to pause to think about that. Wow, my favorite subject in college; nothing pops in mind. You know what pops in mind immediately? That I audited a course every semester. I audited a course outside of my major every semester, so I would audit an art course, a psychology course or a philosophy course, and I would alternate auditing an academic course with auditing a PE course; with taking-I took a PE course every semester even 20:00though it was only required four semesters, I think, or two semesters, because I wanted to learn how to bowl; I wanted to learn how to swim; I wanted to learn how to do all these things-play tennis-things that I had never been exposed to before. My sister Betty took pool. I didn't take pool but-

HT: That's billiards, I assume.

YC: Yes, billiards, yes. But I didn't-so I'm struggling with my favorite-oh, you know what: I think I did fall in love with psychology but I think I audited that course; I don't think I took that course for credit. Maybe I took one psychology course for credit. But I enjoyed that a lot, but that's odd that I-I think I enjoyed choir, but I'm thinking; what did I-my methodology courses-I enjoyed learning how to teach people how to teach. But I think-the whole thing was a real struggle for me to just keep up and I studied really hard because my 21:00academic-the academic rigors of UNCG were so much different than the rigors of my high school. I had to learn how to write a term paper; I had never written a term paper. When they would say analyze this poem, I would go "What? Analyze this poem?" So I would go to the library and look at other people's analyses and read about what other people had written about this poem. I would do a lot of extra reading in order to understand what my own thoughts might be about it. So I was scared every semester. "Am I going to flunk out? Am I going to flunk out?" But you know, I maintained a B average, but it was still on the horizon. "Are you going to dishonor your family by flunking out?" It was always on the horizon.

HT: You say your worked another job on campus as well.

YC: I had two jobs on campus. One job was in the UNCG library, which was a 22:00wonderful job because I could study the whole time I was on the job. I was just somebody there to monitor people coming in and out. My other job was to make coffee for the faculty at the School of Music and I was kind of embarrassed about that job because here I was-there were three black students at the School of Music at that time. I was one of the three and here I was, a black student making coffee for the white faculty. It was like, I don't like this role, so what I would do was get there early in the morning before anybody else arrived. People usually arrived by eight o'clock. I would make sure I was gone by 7:30, and I would set up this big coffee pot that would last all day, and then the next day I would come and make coffee again. So that was something I did my entire four years. And so I was so humiliated by that process that although it was-I think it took me about half an hour to do it. I would say it took an hour 23:00because I thought, "They owe me for the humiliation of being here, doing this." So I would turn in an hour because I thought, "Well, it did take-I had to ride my bicycle over here and ride my bicycle back: that's an hour."

HT: Oh, gosh!

YC: But I have to tell you one other thing that I did for a job. My sister Betty was an art major, and at that time I think we were getting four dollars an hour. Were we getting two dollars an hour or four dollars an hour for being a work-study student? These were for all work-study students.

HT: Right.

YC: So whatever amount we were getting, she said, "You know what? We need people to pose for our life-living arts class or something," so she said, "Would you be interested because it pays twice as much as all the other jobs on campus." I thought, "Oh, what!" So I posed nude for-when I was a sophomore. I did it for 24:00one or two semesters in still life class. These were all girls so all you had to do was just be there and don't move for forty-five minutes and they would just draw. So I did that and got twice as much. I never told anybody. You're probably the fourth person I've told. Now the whole world will know. Oh, my God.

HT: Well, any art school is going to have live models, both male and female, so-

YC: Yes, but I didn't-it was a stretch, but I sure would have died if anybody found out.

HT: I'm assuming all these jobs you had helped pay for schooling and books and incidentals and things like that.

YC: Yes, yes, and we also had some scholarships, and my father was a veteran so we had some money there, too. But we also got some loans, so it was a combination of work-study, scholarships, and loans.

HT: And having two girls in college both at the same time: that was a stretch 25:00for the family budget.

YC: Yes, yes, yes.

HT: I think you said your major was music education; is that correct?

YC: Right.

HT: How did you decide on that major?

YC: I never thought of anything else; never occurred to me to do anything else. I knew in the first grade that I wanted to be a teacher because I fell in love with my first grade teacher. I loved my second grade teacher. I said, "Yes, I want to be a teacher" when I was six and seven years old. And then, when I got to high school and I found out there was such a thing as a music teacher-I didn't know that when I was in elementary and junior high because we didn't have them-I thought, "Oh, that's what I want to be: a music teacher." And I played piano since I was in the first grade, so no other major ever crossed my mind to consider.

HT: Well, tell me about what it was like being a music major, because I'm not really familiar with that area of schooling.

YC: As a music major, we had to take music theory, music history our first two 26:00years of concentration. And you had to be-I had to be in the choir every semester and if you were taking for your major, I was a piano principle, so I had to-I was supposed to practice piano two hours every day; I was a voice minor-

HT: Seven days a week?

YC: Five; at least five, sometimes six. And I was a voice secondary, and so I would practice voice one hour a day.

HT: Were you in the choir and the chorale?

YC: I was in the choir; the chorale was a bump up so you had to be a junior or really good to be in the chorale, and I was in both. We were required to go to Thursday recitals at three o'clock every week, and then we were expected to go to concerts because you were required to give a concert if you were a junior or 27:00senior and a voice or instrumental major. And we were expected to go to concerts at least twice a week, so that was a pretty full schedule.

HT: Do you recall taking any trips with the choir or the chorale?

YC: Oh, I did, yes. I had forgotten about that.

HT: Where did you go?

YC: I think Tennessee and Kentucky and Kansas. I think I went on two choir trips, and we stayed in homes. I think Dr. [Richard] Cox-he was afraid; he didn't want there to be any incidents and there were no incidents but I was the-yes, there were two of us traveling, usually two black girls with all the white girls. We didn't experience any incidents.

HT: What were those trips like? That's quite a distance to travel, from Greensboro all the way to Kansas.

YC: Yes, I think I looked at it as sheer adventure, sheer adventure. It was fun, 28:00it was-I don't think I traveled until I was a junior so it was-I was used to the milieu by that time, so-

HT: Yes. You mentioned Dr. Cox; what are your recollections about him?

YC: He was a standout. In fact, he has visited me several time here in the Twin Cities-he has a son here. He was our choir director and head of choral studies for many, many years, and he was very revered. He was just an all-around good human being, and he had the choir at the Episcopal church there in Greensboro for many, many years. Yes, he was a gentle soul.

HT: Is he still alive?

YC: You know, I don't know. I should check. He was here three years ago, and we had lunch together. Dr. Richard Cox.

29:00

HT: Barbara Baker, Class of '69 whom I interviewed last year, thought very highly of him. She just thought he was just the most wonderful person around.

YC: He was a stand-out of all of the people on the faculty when I was a student there. I think he was probably the warmest to me as an undergrad.

HT: Well, what did you do for fun at UNCG? Did you have time for fun?

YC: When I was a student, what did I do for fun? Sometimes I would go to my cousin Emma Lois's room. Her room was a magnet for all the girls to come, and we would gather there occasionally. I would go to every play that they had; every play on campus I would go to; every time we had an outside person to come and perform. What was the name of the auditorium?

HT: Aycock Auditorium.

YC: Aycock Auditorium, yes. It was the attractor for major out-of-town-yes, I 30:00would make sure I went to every one of them, sometimes alone, I think mostly alone. I couldn't talk my colleagues and friends, my girlfriends, into going as much as I did. I would say probably I went to something at least once a week that was a major-or once every other week-was a major event. Other kinds of fun? Oh, my God. I did a little dating, but not much. There were times when there would be busses that would come to take girls to Carolina [The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill].

HT: I have heard of that.

YC: And I was one of the black girls on one of those busses twice, the only one, so when we got down there, they would let us off and there would be all these white guys ready to greet the girls that got off the bus, and there was one black guy. I said, "I guess he's the one I'm supposed to talk to."

31:00

HT: How did that work out?

YC: I think we dated a little bit, but not much.

HT: I've heard other people speak of those trips. It must have been quite interesting.

YC: Yes, It was just an odd thing but they-that's how the tradition worked.

HT: You mentioned very early that you were at Coit. Were you at Coit more than one year?

YC: Coit was a freshman dorm.

HT: Just freshmen? And where were you the other three years?

YC: I was in Winford-Is it Winford?

HT: Weil-Winfield [Residence Hall].

YC: Weil-Winfield, that's it. And I think-yes, black girls were still expected to room with each other and they put me in-they assigned. I don't know that I got to choose my roommates. How did that happen? Oh, I know; I started out with my roommate that year with Carolyn Black whom I adored. Then she left and got 32:00married in the middle of the semester, and so then they assigned me-I was in a three-girl room on a corner, and I was only in that room just to sleep. I studied, and I was working two jobs, so I was hardly there in that room at all. It was just a place to sleep.

HT: And what about your senior year? Were you still in Weil-Winfield?

YC: Yes. I stayed there my full time, yes.

HT: Well, what did you think of the dining hall? You mentioned the dining hall earlier.

YC: I don't remember complaining much about it. It was just a lot of food, a lot of choices. Yes, it was mostly a transactional kind of thing with me.

33:00

HT: Now, I've talked to other students who remember going to Tate Street to shop and things like that, and Yum-Yum. Do you have any recollections of going down to Tate Street or going over to Yum-Yum to get ice cream?

YC: Yum-Yum, isn't that funny? I don't have a memory so much of Yum-Yum but I have a memory of the little Tate Street-It was kind of like a drugstore-

HT: Called The Corner.

YC: -and a sundry shop on the corner. We could sit on the-

HT: It was called The Corner.

YC: Yes, The Corner. We lived at The Corner; especially because it was across from the School of Music.

HT: Right.

YC: So we would dash over there and get treats every now and then. And Occasionally I would go to the-There was a larger restaurant: the Tate Street Restaurant or something close? I'm not sure. I remember one time they had a special going: if you bought something over five dollars, you would get a ticket to go to the theater. And so I bought that, and I asked for the tickets, and 34:00they said, "No, we don't give out those tickets to black people." And I thought-

HT: Well, the Cinema Theater was in that area-

YC: That's right, it was the Cinema.

HT: And it was not integrated for a long time.

YC: That's right. That's what they told me, so I did not go back to that establishment after they told me that. But I want to share with you another incident, too, and that is they would send busses on Sundays to go to the churches in town and the busses would have the name of the church on the front. And so I was Baptist-

HT: Yes.

YC: -and so I chose to go to the large Baptist church. Maybe it was Greensboro Baptist Church; anyway it was the largest one, and it was kind of close to campus. So it was huge. I went there, and I enjoyed the service so I liked it. I went back a second time, and so the second time I went, one of the deacons came up to me and said, "Excuse me. If you choose to join this church, would you 35:00please not walk down the aisle and join like normal people, like regular people." I went, "What, what?" So I didn't go back after that; I did not go back after that.

HT: I wonder if that might be Friendly Avenue Baptist.

YC: Oh, that may have been. It's right down the street from UNCG. It's a huge-

HT: Well, it's very close. It's huge, facing Friendly Avenue.

YC: That may have been it.

HT: What about going over to A&T or Bennett College for social events; did you ever do anything like that?

YC: I didn't, no. It's almost like we didn't have much time for a social life; we were studying so hard.

HT: You were very busy. It seems like every music major I talked to said that. 36:00And also if you are an artist or have studio time and that kind of stuff, that you don't have a whole lot of extra time.

YC: Yes. Oh, I do remember one other thing I'd like to share with you, and that is my freshman year it really bothered me that all of us had been pre-assigned by our photos to room with each other because it was too early for race to be on the application.

HT: Right.

YC: It was not on the application, so they knew that we were black based by the high school that we graduated from or by our skin color, so I took it upon myself. I made an appointment with the dean of students, Dr. Katherine-

HT: Taylor?

YC: -Taylor yes, and I was trembling as I made the appointment, but I went anyway because I wanted to share with her an observation and a recommendation. 37:00So she agreed to see me. I think I made the appointment with her secretary and went at the appointed hour, and I asked her why were all of the black girls assigned-the freshmen-assigned to be in Coit on the first floor, and we were assigned to each other and not to other girls, white girls, as well. And she looked at me and was very startled and very upset that I had asked that question, and so it kind of let me know that she had done the assignments herself. And so she said, "We did it for your own protection." And I said, "Protection from what?" And so, I think then she went to her file cabinet and 38:00brought out my file and she looked at my whole file and she said, "You know what. For you-You don't have-Your SAT score is not high enough for you to be in my office asking me why we assigned black girls to be roommates in Coit on the first floor. You don't have the right to do that; your SAT score is not high enough for you to ask me that question."

HT: That was a strange observation. You may not know this but Katherine Taylor was in the military in World War II, and she was a graduate of what is now UNCG-

YC: No, I didn't.

HT: -Class of '28, and she taught French and romance languages and went off to war. She was in the WAVES [Women Accepted for Volunteer Service] in the navy, 39:00the US Navy in World War II, so she had that military background so-

YC: That explains it a little bit.

HT: So that explains a little bit of that. I find it strange that she would have brought SATs into it.

YC: I thought it was a real-So that let me know that she was really perturbed. However, because what I was asking for was a policy change, and guess what happened the next year.

HT: It changed.

YC: Yes. No discussion or anything, but the black girls were in all-I think there were five or six freshman dorms-

HT: Probably at that time.

YC: -And there were black girls in all of the freshman dorms that year, but they were still assigned to each other which, you know as I look back on it, that probably helped collegiality, helped you not being alone didn't create [unclear] and that was fine. But I just thought it was interesting that she attacked me that way. It was kind of a-But still she made a change in the policy. Oh, let me tell you one of the other outstanding things that-We had teas.

HT: Yes.

40:00

YC: Every Tuesday there was a tea in the student union and we would go by-

HT: In Elliott Hall.

YC: In Elliott, and I think we couldn't go unless we had on dresses. You couldn't wear pants. You would have to wear dresses and go to the-

HT: You couldn't wear pants on campus anyway. Well, sort of behind the scenes, you could.

YC: I had forgotten that.

HT: Yes, and you couldn't wear shorts, and I understand that some of the girls-if they did have shorts or pants on-would roll up the pants and put on a raincoat to go across campus.

YC: Oh, my gosh. No, I didn't remember that. That was the dress era.

HT: The dress code era, right.

YC: Yes, at the same time, that was when Bennett College, if those students were downtown, they had to wear gloves and sometimes hats, too.

HT: I've talked to several women who say that it was tougher to be at Bennett than it was at UNCG because Bennett College was so much more strict in the dress code than UNCG-Well, Woman's College or UNCG was.

41:00

YC: They were. Another that I remember-Oh, it just slipped my mind.

HT: Now you mentioned the teas just a few minutes ago; did you enjoy those or were they uncomfortable?

YC: I would go by just for a break. I would just do a little light touch-down; I wouldn't linger to chat. A lot of the girls would stay and chat and talk. I would just go and get something to eat and just leave, but I didn't linger.

HT: Each dorm had a tea, is that correct?

YC: No, all the teas when I was there were in Elliott.

HT: That's right in Elliott.

YC: All of them were in Elliott, yes.

HT: There was something else that they had in those days: dorm meetings. Did you ever attend those?

YC: I would go to all the dorm meetings. Oh, yes, I was a good dorm citizen, a very good dorm citizen. I'm flitting around a little bit here, but I'm trying to think what's going to come next in my mind, but I also wanted to share with you that I was the first black student at UNCG to teach-to do my student teaching at 42:00a white school, at Curry.

HT: At Curry, okay, right.

YC: Because of the strict segregation then, and although the Supreme Court, you know, in '54, that didn't affect us at all, that ruling. But until then, I think that all the black students who had an education degree would go to the black schools to do their student teaching. I was the first in history, so they were so afraid of an incident occurring that they wanted to ward it off and so, rather than have me do my student teaching the last six weeks of my senior year the way that most of the students did it-No, all of the students did it-they asked me and they asked Curry School, if I could start in January teaching one class and teach that one class and then gradually build up, so they would get 43:00used to me. So I taught a second grade class. The children adored me; the teacher adored me; and I adored them. And it was-There were no incidents; it was just fun and enjoyable and everybody was shocked. It was like, "Oh my God, what were we afraid of." So, I mean, it went very, very smoothly.

HT: So you were a true pioneer.

YC: Yes, and my other pioneering thing was I was the first black RA at UNCG, the first black Residence Assistant because, you know, I went there in my-for graduate school the year after, and I got a full scholarship to go and-Well, the scholarship was a combination. I was an RA, so that was like-they paid me for that; I got a stipend and scholarship and all of that, and I was in this new dorm. Oh, gosh, I can't even remember the name of it but it was brand-new that year.

HT: It wasn't one of the high rises, was it?

YC: It was; it was the first high rise.

44:00

HT: Reynolds, Grogan [Residence Halls] and-

YC: It was the first high rise that was built there. It was kind of in the woods; it was kind of on the curve when you go around. I'm sorry I don't remember the name of it. So they told me what my duties were, and I said, "Oh, yeah, I can do that." The girls were so shocked they were almost traumatized that they had a black RA-a black Resident Assistant. They had no idea how to interact with me. I had no job to do because nobody talked to me; nobody ever had problems; nobody ever had-They never did anything, so it was like I couldn't help them in any way because of this invisible divide. And I had a huge double room. It was almost like I had a little apartment there, so I had a full year of just being because they didn't allow me to do anything for them or with them or to them.

HT: Now, what were you supposed to do for them? Were you supposed to counsel them?

45:00

YC: Monitor activity; not let anything untoward happen; make sure things stay orderly. I mean, people were well-behaved. I didn't need to call people on anything, but I was there to assist and counsel and help in any way possible. Not. So it was a lovely year of just coasting for me because, you know, I tried to do my job but it was like "Where is my job?" "Why don't you let me do my job?" So it was a gift, and I thank UNCG for that gift because it was a true gift.

HT: This was after you graduated from your undergraduate [unclear].

YC: Yes, I went immediately my next year, yes.

HT: For your master's [unclear] But at least you broke some more grounds.

YC: I did, and I must say my senior year-Barbara Bair, who was my first real mentor-teacher, she showed me what a teacher could be. She was my teacher for my 46:00student teaching supervision. She was extraordinary, and she really lifted me up and saw my potential and made me feel special and smart. She was the one that placed me at Curry, and she just counseled me on so many life issues, and we just became mutual-It was a mutual admiration society. That was my first professor that I had a true relationship with.

HT: And what was her specialty; do you recall?

YC: Music education. She was a superb music educator, superb. In fact, and my second one was Dr.-what was his name, Thomas? Oh, my gosh! He was my advisor in grad school, and he really believed in me also, and it was he that suggested-Something crossed his desk from the National Endowment for the Arts 47:00and said that they were going to select ten people from the United States (the National Endowment for the Arts) to go to Hungary to study the Zoltan Kodaly approach to teaching music to kids, children, and they would live in Hungary for a year with a family and study at the [Franz] Liszt Academy. And he came to me and said, "Yvonne, you need to apply for this" and I went, "Me, apply for this?" Why would I waste my-I didn't tell him this but I told myself, "Why would I waste my time filling out this application. There's no way in the world I would be selected to do this." But he was my advisor and he was teaching me two courses at the time, graduate school, and you don't ever want to go against your advisor and your professors, so I said okay. To keep him happy, I will do this. So I applied and I was selected; one out of ten in the United States. I was selected to do this. I mean, I was shocked!

HT: Did you have to write an essay or-?

YC: It was a very, very extensive application form; very rigorous. We had to 48:00write several essays about who we were; why we wanted to do this; what was our philosophy about music education; philosophy about teaching. How would this help us? It was an extraordinary-

HT: Well, tell me about your experience in Hungary.

YC: Wow! We were in pairs, and we lived with families who spoke no English or we lived with-Sometimes we lived with a-No, all of us were placed with families, and none of the families spoke English and sometimes a family would be-Sometimes there would be a husband and wife; sometimes there would be an older person who had an extra room and the extra room might be their living room and so their living room turned into our bedroom. And so it was almost like a bed and breakfast arrangement, but we were fully integrated in their lives because 49:00nobody has huge apartments there. And we studied Hungarian the year before at Indiana University. We had an intensive six- or eight-week, eight hours a day immersion studying the Hungarian language and the Hungarian history at Indiana University. Dr. Alexander Ringer, who was a professor of music education at Illinois University, thought of this concept that we would go there. Zoltan Kodaly was a music educator, ethno-musicologist, and composer who thought of this way of teaching music to children that would teach them how to read and write music, just as they wrote and read their mother tongue. And it was based on the folk song of that particular country, so Hungary, of course. But if we were to do it in the United States, it would be based on the American folk song; if we did it in Japan, it would be based on the Japanese folk song so it was a wonderful way to learn how to be musically literate, and it was using the 50:00discovery approach to teach music. It was using a playful approach and I still use that pedagogy, that methodology, in my consulting field today. It's that transferrable. So we studied at the Liszt Academy. We took voice courses; we took courses in the Kodaly pedagogy, and then we taught in the schools in Budapest and we taught in two other cities. We moved to Kecskemet, Hungary, and [unclear], Hungary, so we were there for nine months. It was an extraordinary life-altering experience. We continued to study the Hungarian language while we were there. It's a very difficult language because it's not in the romance language family or the German language family; it's out there kind of by itself. But it altered my life forever. I became a global citizen; from Kittrell and Hexgrove community to being a global citizen. We would go to Austria every other weekend. I traveled in ten other countries while I was there. It was an eye-opener.

51:00

HT: And all ten of you stayed together in the same city?

YC: We were in the same cohort, yes. And then when we came back to the US, we went to different cities to teach the Kodaly approach, and I made arrangements for Greensboro to be one of the test cities. We had three test cities, and I arranged through the music supervisors and Barbara Bair-who I was still in contact with-and the music supervisors that Greensboro be one of them so two of us, three of us, were in Greensboro teaching the Kodaly approach.

HT: Where did you teach?

YC: I've forgotten my-All three of us, we had three elementary schools there, and I'm so sorry I can't remember my elementary school but it was a joyful experience. The principal made space for us to do it the right way.

HT: That's great.

YC: So we were teaching half a day and we were teaching fourth graders, I think, primarily-fourth or fifth graders-and then a half a day we would do research, 52:00collecting more songs, fine-tuning our pedagogy. And the three of us would come together and talk about what we were learning and what we needed to alter in our lesson plans, so it was an ideal situation.

HT: If we can go back to UNCG: do you recall any particular social or academic events that really stand out in your mind while you were at UNCG; anything happen on campus during-from 1963 to 1967.

YC: Oh, may I go back to where I was trying to go before, and I'll come back to your question. What I wanted to tell you, too, was that I was at UNCG from '63 to '67, the height of the Civil Rights Movement and volatility. I spent it in a protected cocoon of UNCG. I did not get to participate. UNCG fully consumed me, 53:00so I was at an arms-length distance from it, and the only big taste that I got was the summer after my freshman year. I worked in Philadelphia and lived with my aunt to earn money for my freshman year, so I got a taste of what was happening on the streets a little bit the summer of '64. But other than that, I just read about the Civil Rights Movement; I heard about the Civil Rights Movement but I was protected from it even when A&T was leading the strike with-Was it Rose's Five and Dime Store-Woolworth's?

HT: Woolworth's, right.

YC: Woolworth's, yes. I just heard about that; I was not a part of that so UNCG was not in it. We were aside from it, and I have great regret about that, and then-at the same time-in some ways I am grateful because I was able to focus on 54:00other things. But I feel like I missed out on being a part of that live participation, that part of it, so I have-I'm divided about how I feel about that. Yes, we were not-We did not have those protests on campus. Let's just put it that way.

HT: I know there was some protest in, I think it was, 1963 to help integrate Tate Street, but I cannot remember when in '63 that happened because before that-

YC: It must have been before I got there because it was not-I don't remember-Oh, it was before I got there, because I remember the girls talking about it when I was there. Yes, it was not when I was there.

HT: That had just happened before you got there.

YC: Before I arrived, so that may have cooled things out for when we were there. What I do remember though: when I was a graduate student, Betty, my sister-her black conscious awareness was much more advanced than mine. And she wanted to do 55:00something on campus that would raise the consciousness of faculty and students, and so she founded the Neo-Black Society.

HT: Right.

YC: And she was instrumental in arranging for a black conference to be held there, and she and students-This was one of the first things that the Neo-Black Society did was to invite speakers from around the country to come. Betty thought, "Oh, faculty will want to come. They will want to learn more about this. Students will want to come." They needed an advisor for the Neo-Black Society so I was the advisor. They needed a faculty or a graduate student to be an advisor, so I'm not sure they could find any faculty to be an advisor because this was kind of radical, so it became legitimate with me being the advisor. So they had this conference, and Betty was so disappointed. Not one white faculty-Not one faculty member came; not one. And these were astounding, very 56:00well-known black speakers from all over the US who were there. Not one, so that was a real slap in the face to us.

HT: Let me mention something real quickly: just the other day-I think it was probably Thursday, might have been Friday-a university archivist met with the current Neo-Black Society officers, and she brought back with her-I think it was four record center boxes of materials from their office to put in the archives.

YC: Oh, my.

HT: So this is mainly from the '80s and '90s. We have-record center box is about a foot by eleven inches tall by fourteen inches, something like that. And we have one box now from the very early days, but now we have a more complete history. So that's wonderful because, you know, next year (2013) will be the forty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Neo-Black Society, and there is actually going to be a celebration on campus during I think it's November of 57:00next year.

YC: My goodness.

HT: Of course, the fiftieth is coming up in just five years.

YC: Isn't that amazing.

HT: So you and Betty will definitely have to come back for both events or at least one of the events.

YC: Wow!

HT: And there will be more things coming out, but I did find out before I left that they had their big announcement. I'll have to look it up for you-the exact dates for that-but fifty years-can you believe it-coming up?

YC: That is remarkable; that is truly remarkable. Yes, I'm still in shock.

HT: What did you do as the advisor for the Neo-Black Society when it was first founded.

YC: I would meet with them. I really did give them advice, about-I remember attending some of the planning sessions for the conference, and also I helped them in some of the organizing. You know: How do you get people to join and that 58:00kind of thing, and running the meetings, that kind of thing.

HT: You don't, by any chance, recall the official founding day or anything like that, do you? Because I have not found that information.

YC: No, the date itself?

HT: Yes.

YC: No, I don't, but I know I was-

HT: Perhaps Betty [Cheek Emarita] might know that.

YC: It was the fall of '67, but I don't know when. Fall of '67.

HT: Well, I interviewed Dr. Ada Fisher several years ago.

YC: Oh, my, she's a card. She was always a wild woman and she still is, isn't she.

HT: Oh my goodness, yes.

YC: Energy just going on, and so bright and so unpredictable and so courageous.

HT: She is something else. At the reunion back in April, we had a special session dealing with African American students on campus-What it was like in 59:00your day, around 1970 when Dr. Ada Fisher was there, and what it's like now. And I've forgotten how many alumni came to the special session and just got up and talked five or ten minutes; JoAnne Smart Drane was there; Carolyn Roney couldn't make it, she had something else going on; but Ada Fisher did come and I think she spoke the longest and the most colorful, and most passionately.

YC: Oh, yes. She was that colorful as an undergraduate.

HT: As you said, she is something else, but she now lives in Salisbury. I don't know if you knew that or not. She got a medical degree somewhere in Wisconsin, I think it was. And then worked for Amoco and some other big corporations, and decided to retire in Salisbury, North Carolina.

YC: She's retired?

HT: Yes, she's a retired medical doctor.

YC: Oh, my gosh.

HT: She moved back to North Carolina a couple of years ago.

60:00

YC: Where was she living before? I thought she was always in North Carolina.

HT: No, it was up North somewhere, and I cannot remember it right now. I want to say Chicago or Philadelphia. I'm not one hundred percent sure, but she had two sons and-

YC: That she adopted, I think.

HT: That she adopted, right, and they were having some problems with gangs and things like that so she wanted to-

YC: Isn't that something. That reminds me: when you mentioned her name, you know, when we chose to go to UNCG, many of us did not realize what a choice we were making in terms of social life because I-You know, you think of going to college and partying and having a kind of a balanced academic life with a balanced social life. Not so for the black girls; and for many of the girls in my class, the sacrifice that they made without knowing was: "I may not get married. I may not be in the right place to meet somebody who will adore me." 61:00And many of my classmates never married, many of them.

HT: Some of the other ladies I've talked to said that there were no black men on campus at UNCG-

YC: The whole time.

HT: Right, so they would have to date fellows from A&T, and social interaction was very difficult.

YC: Extremely, because first of all the guys from A&T were intimidated to come over to UNCG. I mean, it was like another world. I mean, we didn't go over to A&T; I mean, we didn't go to them. It was almost like we were aliens. Like, what are you doing here? Nobody would say that even if we went to A&T. Where would we go; how did you meet-I even had high school friends that graduated from Henderson Institute who were at A&T, and we didn't even maintain relationships, and we were just a bus ride away. It's like, why didn't that happen? We couldn't 62:00figure out how to cross the divide. It was almost like were we afraid, were we embarrassed? It's like, well, you're over there now. When you're over there, we're not supposed to-We never talked about it. There was no forum to help us connect; there were no advisors; there were no people to help you have a conversation; there were no bridge connectors. I mean, we were the budding bridge builders; we were the budding connectors, but we had to figure it out all by ourselves. I think that I'm a bridge builder just because I was thrown into that situation where I had to be a bridge builder or I would shrink, but at that time I did not have the bridge building skills that I have now and didn't know how to do it. Didn't even know I was a budding bridge builder, so we were isolated, unfortunately, to our detriment in terms of building a social life at that time.

HT: The unfortunate thing was, and I've heard other interviewees say the same thing, there was no help from the administration.

63:00

YC: Zero.

HT: Or from most of the professors.

YC: Zero, they acted like we didn't exist. It's like you're there but you're not there. It was so funny: I was a superstar at my high school. I was the valedictorian and I got to UNCG and I was totally invisible to professors and to the administration. And yet I was the only black person in all of my classes, and I was totally invisible. How could I be such a standout and still be totally invisible? It was quite a paradox.

HT: Well, men came to UNCG in the fall of 1964 for the first time.

YC: I didn't see any. They were very sparse.

HT: I think most of them were probably day students and-

YC: Oh, that's right; they didn't have any dorms for the men at that time.

HT: As a matter of fact, even though UNCG became coeducational in 1963, it still took them years to prepare for the men to come so-

YC: Exactly.

HT: But you had no interaction with men at that point, to your recollection.

64:00

YC: I don't ever remember seeing one.

HT: So it was probably still a woman's college as far as your time was concerned.

YC: Oh, absolutely. Even in grad school.

HT: Let me see. Well, you were involved in quite a few things. We've already talked about the choir and the chorale and you also-

YC: Oh, I was member of the Riding Club-I'm sorry. What was it? The Riding Club, the Adventure Club, the Outdoor Club? Anyway I know that I went on a weekend horse riding-

HT: Oh, you're kidding.

YC: -to where was it? Love Valley, do you know of Love Valley, North Carolina?

HT: I have not heard of it, no.

YC: Was it Love Valley? Anyway, you know I was always up for adventure, doing something new, and we had a whole weekend where we were riding horses around to this little town and-

HT: So this was a part of a PE class, I assume.

YC: No, this was an outdoor club.

HT: Now, at one time there was an Outing Club.

65:00

YC: Outing Club, that's what it was. You know these things. It was the Outing Club, that's what it was.

HT: And they would do mountain climbing, hiking, boating, and canoeing, and that sort of thing.

YC: I only went with the horse riding weekend.

HT: Was that your first time on a horse?

YC: It was. My first time on a horse and we rode for, like, six hours for two or three days-for two days.

HT: I know you were saddle-sore.

YC: Yes, yes, yes. We all were.

[recording paused]

HT: Well, we were talking earlier about the Outing Club. What about-You were also involved with the marshals on campus. Do you have any-

YC: The marshals?

HT: Right.

YC: Tell me about the marshals.

HT: Well, they're the group of-today-young women and young men who-They lead 66:00people during commencement. During the special events, they are sort of the ushers-And you have no recollection of being a marshal at one time.

YC: I don't have a And you have actually proof of this, that I was a marshal?

HT: I think so, during one year.

YC: A marshal, oh, in one year. Maybe it was one year. Oh my gosh, that has almost been erased from my memory. I could have been because I know I liked volunteering for things. I loved stretching myself.

HT: I think-It says here that during your third and fourth year, you were a marshal on campus.

YC: Oh, my gosh. And the marshals did things during commencement?

HT: Right, they would help usher people in during the commencement programs and be the official marshals, leading people in and things like that.

67:00

YC: Hermann, I have no recollection of this.

HT: Well, okay.

YC: Oh, this is so shocking for me. I wonder if I did it once or-I just have no recollection of that.

HT: Well, it's only been a few years. Oh, my goodness. Well, I think we've talked about all your extra-curricular activities. I mean, you were so busy working on campus and things like that. Is there anything else that you would like to add about your extra-curricular activities?

YC: No, I think we've probably covered-I think the attitudes that governed most of my activities were try this, try this; adventure, adventure. You know, try something new. I was never afraid to try something new, so I was open always to adding another layer to the things that I was already doing. And I think I've kept that up in my current life.

HT: Well, the 1960s were such a turbulent time here in the United States. It 68:00started out when President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

YC: I remember the very moment that it was announced. I remember exactly where I was. I was walking across campus on my way to French class, and I looked around and I thought, "There are no people walking on campus. What has happened? There are no people on campus; what has happened here?" So I asked one person that I saw, and he said the president's been shot. So then you just go back to your room and listen to the radio.

HT: That was a very trying time; it really was. Now the-I think we mentioned this earlier; that the Greensboro Sit-ins had taken place prior to you getting to UNCG, and some of the other protests on Tate Street had already happened. Now, other things happened during the 1960s. Do you have any feelings about Malcolm X being shot? Robert Kennedy? Martin Luther King, Jr.? I mean all these 69:00things seem to be a progression of horrible events that happened during the 1960s.

YC: Right. I remember very clearly Martin Luther King; when that happened, when he was assassinated. That was my year that I was a Resident Hall Assistant, and I remember being just glued-I had a television in my room, a small, little black and white television, and I was glued to it for hours and hours, watching all by myself when that occurred, and just thinking how sad it was for the country and the world that he had been removed from the planet because of, primarily, his international-his foray into international activities, which this country, some 70:00of the powers that be, thought that was not in the realm of his quest. I also-I was getting married June 8, 1968, and Robert Kennedy was shot, I believe, June fifth or sixth, and I was going to get married in the front yard of my parents on Highway 401-ten miles south of Warrenton, fourteen miles north of Lewisburg, ten miles east of Henderson, one mile west of Lick Skillet, forty-five miles north of Raleigh, Highway 401. And I was cleaning the yard; I was raking the yard to get ready for all the guests myself. I was so sad that I wasn't able to watch all of that on TV when Robert Kennedy was assassinated, but all of that 71:00just seemed to happen so close together. It was too-

HT: Just one after another.

YC: One after another and each time I felt like I was slightly removed from it, so I had regret once again by not being absorbed enough in the whole atmosphere of activity-of direct activity. I was on the periphery.

HT: And you mentioned a lake, Lake Skillet.

YC: Lick Skillet, L-I-C-K S-K-I-L-L-E-T. Lick Skillet was a tiny little town right off of-well, not town. All that's left now is kind of a sign.

HT: Oh, okay.

YC: It was a place many years ago, but it has since kind of died. But there's a sign there.

HT: Oh, gosh. Well, what do you recall about-or do you have any recollections about the administrators on campus, such as Chancellors Otis Singletary or James 72:00Ferguson. Do you have any recollection of either one of those gentleman.

YC: Ferguson, I do remember. Yes. He would give speeches occasionally. I remember his demeanor and his tall, slim-very keen eyes. We did not have a lot of interaction with them; they seemed far, far away from the everyday life, but I do recall some of his speeches and seeing things that came out with his name.

HT: Now, at that time did you still have to go to-I think they called it Tuesday Chapel or-

YC: We didn't have Tuesday Chapel then.

HT: No weekly meetings of all the student body?

YC: No, not when we were there. They stopped it, I think, when it was no longer Woman's College. They stopped that so I- [it] probably was the first year [I 73:00was] there that they didn't have it.

HT: Okay, because I know at one time the whole student body had a meeting in Aycock Auditorium every wee-

YC: Wow!

HT: -to be addressed by, probably, the chancellor or some other administrator. I guess it was sort of, almost like a staff meeting type thing to tell people what's going on.

YC: Yes, yes. And a lot of the religious schools do that now, or did it much longer than UNCG did.

HT: Oh, yes. I went to Tuesday Chapel at Greensboro College every week.

YC: Right, and Greensboro College was affiliated with-

HT: Methodist.

YC: Methodist, yes. I know they had it at Bennett College, too.

HT: Right, oh, yes.

YC: It was a standard thing, so maybe when WC became UNCG, they made a list of, "We will stop doing this, this, and this and we will begin doing this, this, and this" and that's one of the things that they dropped.

HT: Once the men started coming there, many of the traditions of Woman's College disappeared slowly. By the early '70s, they were all gone. You probably had a class jacket.

YC: Oh, my gosh! I did have a class jacket. Mine was red. Oh, they stopped that.

74:00

HT: I think that the last class jacket we have a sample of is 1973.

YC: Isn't that something.

HT: I think the men-I think they just wanted to break away from the Woman's College traditions, so class jackets disappeared. Rat Day, which was when the freshmen had to put on little mouse ears and rat ears and bow down to upper classmen, that disappeared. The Daisy Chain where the-I think maybe it was the sophomores-I think it was the sophomore girls would gather daisies and intertwine them with ivy and then form these two daisy chains where the seniors could walk through to commencement.

YC: Oh, my goodness.

HT: So a lot of the traditions, or class meetings, and that sort of thing slowly all disappeared.

YC: But what did not disappear was painting the McIver statue.

HT: That's true.

YC: That has maintained.

HT: Except that disappeared in the early seventies.

75:00

YC: Come on.

HT: No. Well, what happened was that it was being destroyed. I mean the paint and the removing of the paint was destroying the statue.

YC: Oh my!

HT: So a fraternity-I've forgotten which one it was on campus-bought this huge boulder, like a twelve-ton boulder, and put it on campus. It's called "The Rock," and anyone can paint it, but whatever is on there has to be left on there-The message has to be left on there for at least twenty-four hours before somebody can repaint it, and it's sitting between the library and the dining hall right now.

YC: Hot diggety.

HT: It's this huge boulder.

YC: A substitute?

HT: A substitute.

YC: That's good, so it's an invitation: graffiti here anytime.

HT: That's right.

YC: Art, not graffiti, art?

HT: As a matter of fact, this is the hundredth birthday of the McIver Statue, and I did an exhibit on it that was put on display earlier this year. The official dedication one hundredth birthday will be October fifth, which was 76:00Founder's Day. So, yes, as a matter of fact, in the late eighties, they had to take the statue down and send it off to a new foundry and be redone, because it was in such bad shape. The acid from the atmosphere and the birds, the constant painting and cleaning just ruined the finish on it so it had to be refinished.

YC: Isn't that something.

HT: The girls in your days, you know, they dressed it up on all occasions; they painted every class color there was, and poor Dr. McIver statue just had all kinds of horrible things happen to it. Oh, gosh! Well, did you ever paint it or get involved in that sort of stuff?

YC: I don't know of any black girls that participated in any of those shenanigans. I don't know any that did; none of my friends in my circles did.

HT: Oh, gosh. Well, you've already mentioned Dean Katherine Taylor and your 77:00run-in with her. How about Vice Chancellor Mereb Mossman; did you ever have any dealings with her?

YC: Not really, just saw her from afar.

HT: How about the Alumni Secretary Barbara Parrish?

YC: I don't know her, not really. I knew Mereb Mossman; I can see her face so clearly but not Barbara.

HT: You've already mentioned, in passing, some of the professors who made a real impression on you; like Richard Cox and Barbara Bair. Were there any others that you recall?

YC: The dean of the School of Music when I was there. Why can't I remember his name? He was a good guy. He extended himself to me. I do remember, oh my gosh, 78:00one of my-Actually, I'll jump ahead just a little bit. When I was teaching at UNCG and this professor-I can't remember his last name, Dr. Walter, I can't remember his last name-He was my professor and I got As, and I think I took two courses under him-one A and one B-and when I asked him for a recommendation for grad school, he said, "Sure, be happy to." And so he filled it out, and then gave it back to me in a sealed envelope, and wanted me to put the stamp on it and mail it. And I thought, "How odd that he would do that." And so I thought, 79:00"You know, I think I'd better open this and not just mail it" because they had three recommendations, and I had asked four people, and so I opened it. I thought "Thank goodness I opened this. I am not mailing this."

YC: He had said things and then had checked boxes that did not show me in the best light for grad school, and I thought that it's so ironic that he chose to do that and then he chose to give it to me to mail. It was almost like-I don't know, it was just very strange that he did do that.

HT: It's good that you did open it, then.

YC: It is. I'm very happy that I did that because it was almost like he was inviting me to put my death nail in my own casket. So I thought "What is this at work here? I don't want to call it a name, but there is something at work here 80:00that I'm glad I interrupted."

HT: Wow, that is strange. You mentioned that you went to graduate school at UNCG. Tell me about that experience and how that was different from being an undergraduate at UNCG.

YC: I was really glad that I decided to go to grad school immediately afterwards. I had a full scholarship, so combined with the RA stipend, it made it very easy to go to grad school and, again, I was the only black person in all my classes and it didn't seem-It seemed easier. My classes seemed easier. I wasn't struggling, or maybe I had more confidence, and maybe I was just in my domain because music education-I loved teaching; I loved learning how to teach; I loved teaching teachers how to teach so I was in my sweet spot and, you know, taking fewer courses, and I think I had fewer jobs. I had always had two jobs 81:00the whole time I was in class, so it was a relief, I think, to be in grad school. I hadn't thought about it quite like that. The courses seemed reasonable, and I actually enjoyed them, and it gave me a year to think about, "What am I going to do the following year?" So I had space to think for the first time; I had space to kind of be. And I think I got to know my professors a little more; they became more human to me; there was more personal interaction. I hadn't had much personal interaction before. By personal, I just mean conversations more than the lecture. So campus life took on a more humane 82:00fragrance for me at that time.

HT: So you were in graduate school at the same time you were an RA; is that correct?

YC: Yes, that's right.

HT: And did it take you more than one year to finish.

YC: No, one year. Well, I finished all my coursework in one year. I chose to write a master's thesis and that would have taken a little bit more time, and so then I got the fellowship to go to Hungary, and then I didn't do my thesis and so I thought, "Okay, I'll just make my thesis be on what I learned in Hungary, what I did in Hungary." So actually, that got delayed because of all the things that occurred, and so I actually, in the long term, decided not to write the thesis but just to take an extra course or two and finish that. And I did that about four years later.

83:00

HT: Now, did you do any teaching on campus during graduate school?

YC: No, I was just taking classes.

HT: Just taking classes, Okay. And did you do any teaching outside?

YC: No, I did not.

HT: Okay. Well, after you finished the graduate degree at UNCG-and we've already talked about the Franz Liszt Academy. What about the University of St. Thomas. Was that the local St. Thomas?

YC: That was here in Minneapolis-St. Paul. That was much later. That was a mini-MBA [Master of Business Administration], so they had a course for people who were in corporate America, primarily, who wanted to get all those concepts down and not do a year's course, so it was just a touch-down on all the things, so they gave you a certificate and they called it a mini-MBA.

HT: Okay. And then you got your PhD from the University of Michigan; is that correct?

84:00

YC: Yes.

HT: And when was that?

YC: Nineteen seventy-nine. I went there in '75 after teaching at UNCG for four years, or was it three years, and then I went to Michigan and was there for four years.

HT: I've gotten some of my chronology wrong so I had forgotten that you had taught at UNCG. What kind of courses did you teach and what was that experience like?

YC: I taught music education courses, and let me tell you how I got to do that.

HT: Oh, okay.

YC: So I came back from Hungary; I was teaching in Greensboro for one year in the experimental Kodaly program. I taught elementary school there, and that experiment ended that year, and then I taught in a junior high the following year. Then Barbara Bair, who was my student teacher supervisor and she was also still teaching at UNCG-teaching music education courses. She was very impressed 85:00with all of my work and my work in Hungary, so her husband worked for Burlington Industries, and so he was going to be transferred to Austria for a year or somewhere in Europe. And she wanted to go with him. She asked me if I would be interested in taking her place for a year, teaching at UNCG in the School of Music for a year. And I thought, "Oh, my God!" It was because of my specialty, being a Kodaly specialist, and my abroad experience, and she had seen some of my work, so I said, "Sure, I'd love to do that." And so dean-I can't remember his name; I'm so sorry-he agreed to it and I guess the faculty agreed to it and so that's how I started, and then it went well the first year. I worked my buns off, but it went well.

HT: That was in 1975, I think you said.

YC: Yes, that was the first year, and then her husband got an extension to stay in Europe another year, and she wanted to stay with him, so I got an extension. 86:00So I was there a second year, and then the third year she came back. And the student body had grown so much that she said, "You know, you should stay, and I'm back, so would you stay?" So we worked together; so we were truly colleagues and it was fabulous."

HT: So you weren't one of the early black faculty members-

YC: I was the first black faculty at the School of Music, and when I was there on campus, I was one of three black faculty at the whole UNCG campus.

HT: There was a lady at the School of Nursing, but she may have been much later than that. And there was somebody else in the science-

YC: There was a sociologist in-

HT: Dr. [Joseph] Himes.

YC: That's it. His brother was the novelist.

HT: And there was a lady in the School of Nursing or biology.

YC: I never met her; I met him. I made it my business to meet him, but I never met her.

HT: Wow, so how were you treated by the other faculty members of UNCG? Do you have any recollection of that?

87:00

YC: Yes. For some, you could see there was a little bit of pride that one of their own was there, and, for others, there was a little bit of suspicion.

HT: You were very young.

YC: Yes, I was in my late twenties, yes. And for others, it was just hard to take, you know; that here's-And so they mostly kind of ignored me rather than-I didn't feel the overt shunning; it was just kind of that invisible thing extended, so it was all across the board. I did have one-Harold Abeles was my one faculty. He was in music education. He was the one colleague who went out of his way to treat me as a peer, to be my friend, to advise me; he was just a royal human being, Hal Abeles. I hadn't thought about him in ages. I need to see 88:00where he is. Let me write down his name and Google him.

HT: How do you spell his last name?

YC: A-B-E-L-E-S. He and Barbara Bair were two of my favorite people and still-as close as we were-that was still in an era where you did not invite black people to your house, so I never invited them to my house because black people didn't invite white people to their house. And they never invited me to their house. We would have lunch together out in restaurants, but you didn't go further than that. But we were still good buds. Isn't that interesting how that worked? The invisible wall would get thinner, but the wall would still be there.

HT: Or the glass ceiling or whatever you want to call it.

YC: Right.

HT: So you were there for four years.

YC: It was four years, right.

89:00

HT: It was quite an experience.

YC: And I was-I got job offers from two other institutions while I was there. Michigan State offered me a job; I got an offer from somewhere else. In fact, Michigan State offered me a job and I had to go to the dean and say, "You know, I got a really serious job offer and I'm thinking about taking it but I would prefer staying here. But you at least need to match or go above their salary. He upped my salary immediately and I remember that meant it went up to $11,500 a year.

HT: That was a pretty good salary in those days, I guess.

YC: Let's hope so.

HT: Oh, my goodness! What made you finally decide to leave after four years?

YC: Well, I realized if I was serious about teaching in higher ed, I needed a PhD, and that was what I wanted to do at that time; that's what I wanted to do. I loved it. I was good at it, and I got good evaluations from my students. In 90:00fact, I remember one evaluation I got. You know how the first year, young teachers-new teachers-are always over-zealous. They've just got to prove themselves, and get that work done for the students, and [unclear] And one evaluation, the question was "Did the instructor meet the expectations, the goals of the-Did the instructor meet the expectations of the course? Or meet the goals of the course?" And one student wrote, "If she had met them any better, we would all be dead." I thought, hmm, maybe I should turn back the dial a little bit. Maybe I don't need to be so zealous. I learned a lot from that student. But yes, it worked; it worked well. So I applied to University of Indiana, Indiana; University of Michigan; and Florida; and also Washington (University of 91:00Washington), because I wanted to go to one of the top four music education places, PhD programs. And so all of them accepted me, and I said I'm going to go and visit my two favorites so I decided I would go to visit Indiana University and University of Michigan; sit in on classes; interview the professors; make sure it was a good fit for me psychologically as well as emotionally a good fit, so I chose University of Michigan and I had a great time at both of those places. Actually, both of them offered me a full scholarship, and both offered me stipends as well, and actually University of Michigan and Indiana University-I tell this with tongue in cheek-They got in a bidding war over me, and the professor who made the difference, made the final call to Indiana University and said, "How much stipend are you offering her a month? We can top 92:00that." And so I told him, "I really want to come to Michigan, but Indiana has offered me a larger stipend. Can you match it or top it?" And he [said], "We'll do that." A bidding war for me. And I was glad I chose-I had a fabulous experience at Michigan.

HT: And where in Michigan was that?

YC: Ann Arbor. University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

HT: And how long did it take you to get the PhD.

YC: Four years: two years of coursework and two years of writing-

HT: But you were teaching at the same time.

YC: I taught-I was the only person in my class that had had university experience prior to being there. I had four years of teaching in a university. All of the others were aspiring to do that, so I taught an undergraduate class my first two years, and, my last year, I taught a graduate course in music education.

HT: That's wonderful. Well, what impact do you think having attended UNCG and 93:00having taught there has had on your life?

YC: I would have had a totally different life if I had not gone to UNCG. I am so glad that I did; I am proud of and deeply touched by the doors that going there opened for me, and I appreciate, now, the challenges that I had to figure out how to maneuver around, or how to jump over, or how to turn into lemonade, but I think it strengthened my resilience to go there and it was also-Now I understand it was prestigious; it's prestigious to say I graduated from the University of North Carolina. It has cache to be able to say that, and I think my-the exposure 94:00that I got; the opportunity to go to Hungary; if I had not been at UNCG, and my professor had not gotten that letter from the National Endowment of the Arts, or whoever, and just happened to say, "Yvonne, you should apply for this." If I had been in another place in another time, I probably wouldn't have done that and going to Hungary, becoming a Kodaly expert, opened a thousand doors for me. I mean, I was the only black expert in the country. I had some friends that called me "the black hope of music education." And I was one of ten experts in the country in the Kodaly approach so I did-I was in my middle twenties doing workshops on the Kodaly approach to teaching music to children at colleges, public school systems, at national and state and regional conferences. I was in 95:00my mid-twenties and that opened other doors for me. So UNCG made all of that happen, and I think I was just born the right year. That was the lucky part-born the right year to be a pioneer, you know, to be the first person-It wasn't so much my qualities that made me-my qualities helped, my personal qualities-but I just happened to be born the right year, and was at the right place at the right time. And a lot of these opportunities just fell in my lap, and I would say, "Oh, okay, sure." It was like an invitation: I could say yes or no and I usually said yes, because I liked adventure.

HT: But you did grab those opportunities and made something of them.

YC: Yes, I guess you could say that. That's it; I did not run away from them. I welcomed them, and then I began to understand the pattern, and then I began to seek them out, and then that would attract other opportunities for me, so one opportunity was chained to another opportunity. It was like a cascading effect, 96:00but UNCG was the portal for many of those things to happen.

HT: That's wonderful. Well, have you been involved with UNCG at all since you graduated, other than the four years that you taught there?

YC: Not very much.

HT: But you are a distance away from your alma mater so-

YC: Yes, yes, not very much. I've been to one alumni gathering that I was just a participant because I was just curious, and all these young children-all these babies. I thought, "Oh, my gosh, look at-" So I was really, really touched by the campus and seeing how many undergraduates of color there are so I-And I was invited to speak at an alumni association meeting-I think it was the black alums 97:00meeting that I was a keynote speaker about eight years ago.

HT: On campus?

YC: Yes, a black alum meeting about seven or eight years ago, something like that. So that was my first time back in a long time.

HT: And you wrote the article for the UNCG Magazine.

YC: Right, so those two things and then I was a participant-the dean of alumni affairs, the development officer. I've forgotten her name now. If you said it, I would know. The head of advancement at UNCG had a series of gatherings around the country.

HT: It wasn't Patti Steward [vice chancellor for University Advancement]?

YC: I think it was.

HT: Patti Steward.

YC: Yes. So she had a gathering here that I went to and it was a lovely gathering. All the UNCG alums in Minneapolis so we really clicked and she-I followed up with her with several suggestions, and we were e-mailing and in telephone communication and I offered to do some things with her, and then the 98:00communication just stopped. I don't know; she didn't follow up after that, so I don't know what happened.

HT: Patti Steward is no longer with the university. She left, I think in March maybe.

YC: Well, that kind of explains it, okay.

HT: And they're in the process of looking for another University Relations vice chancellor. Judy Piper is interim right now.

YC: And her-Judy Piper, interim, she's the-

HT: Interim vice chancellor for University Relations.

YC: University Relations, okay. Vice president or vice chancellor?

HT: Vice chancellor.

YC: Vice chancellor, okay. And I'm sad to say that many of my good friends, my close friends when I was there for those four years, I have not seen since we graduated.

HT: You'll have to come back for your fiftieth reunion, if nothing else.

99:00

YC: Oh, there's going to be a big fiftieth reunion?

HT: I'm sure there will be.

YC: You know, that would be worth coming to if they would come. That would be worth coming to. I think about those girls a lot. Isn't that funny to think about people a lot and not have followed up, to visit or talk to them, and I'm quite embarrassed about that.

HT: Did you ever get in contact with-?

YC: Suezette [Roney]?

HT: -Suezette.

YC: I have not; I decided I would wait until after we talked so I could tell her, "Well, I've done the interview, too."

HT: That's wonderful. Oh, my goodness. Well, I don't have any more formal questions. Do you have anything else you'd like to add to the interview? We've covered so many things this morning.

YC: Wow, let me see.

HT: About UNCG and life after-Oh, I know one thing I wanted to ask you. Tell me about your consulting work right now. Tell me a little bit about that.

YC: Yes, okay. And let me relate that to UNCG. I am a strategic change consultant. I have-I founded my business in 1993, and this is my fourth career; 100:00not just my fourth job, my fourth career. UNCG gave me the foundation to have four different careers. It gave me the self-confidence and the skill set to do this. So my first career was music education. I taught elementary one year, junior high one year, and I was at UNCG for four years. I was at University of Michigan for four years getting my PhD, and then I accepted a job at the University of Puget Sound where I was the chairman of music education and the head of the graduate program of music education. And I was there for a year and 101:00a half, almost two years, and while I was writing my dissertation at Michigan, a little bird jumped on my shoulder and said, "Do you want to do this for the next thirty years?" And I thought, "Oh, my God. Get off my shoulder; get off my shoulder." And this little bird would not go away. And I thought, "Oh, my God. Teaching music was all I ever wanted to do. If I don't do that what will I do?" And so this little bird would not go away, so I had to go into therapy and to figure out how to deal with this. I had a wonderful therapist who said, "Yvonne, if your gut, if your bones are telling you this, you need to listen." So what had happened was I had looked around at some of my fellow music ed professors who were in their fifties and sixties, and I couldn't see the light in their eyes. It was like they weren't excited about what they were doing, and I 102:00thought, "When I get fifty or sixty, I want to-forties and fifties-I want to be excited about what I'm doing, but I couldn't see the light in their eyes so I thought, "I may need to change careers. But you know what, I have got a PhD in music ed." So this therapist said, "You know, don't try to make all these changes at once. Why don't you accept a job in your field with your PhD and make your change from there." I said, "Oh, thank goodness. I don't have to do it all at once. Okay, thank you for that bit of wisdom." So I began planning my escape as soon as I got to the University of Puget Sound. Although they were out of accreditation, I helped them get re-accredited, the School of Music get re-accredited. I designed courses; I did workshops for teachers in five states, having them come to the University of Puget Sound. I got them back on the map and planned my escape at the same time. And it's so funny, the first day on campus-The first day that I was on campus, the president made an announcement: "All the professors here who would like to change careers, we have some courses 103:00you can take. We got a huge grant from the Lilly Foundation and you can sign up and take those courses. And I thought, "Oh, my gosh. How did this happen? How did this happen? Thank you very much." And so there were ten of us who signed up for the course and the first day in the class-We could take courses in accounting, how to change your resume to a business resume, computer literacy, financial literacy- There were several things we could do to change our careers and the first day in class, the person who opened it said, "We are so sorry to see you here. You are not the ones that this was designed for." There were ten young professors like myself who had signed up. He said, "This was designed for professors who have retired on the job, who have tenure, who have gotten poor evaluations, and who hold up their notes to the light and they disintegrate because they've been using the same notes for twenty years." None of those signed up; but why would they? They had tenure. So I began planning my escape, 104:00and a year and a half later I got a job at Control Data here in Minneapolis as a manager in corporate marketing, and that's what brought me here. And I took to it like a duck to water. I loved it; I had a staff of eight. We were the liaisons between the international sales force, the domestic sales force, the corporate executives, and the customers, and I was there for three years. And then I left there and went to the University of Minnesota as Director of Citizen Education; I designed programs to educate citizens about public policy issues. My major goal was to help citizens understand that democracy is a participatory sport and not a spectator sport, and then I left there in '93 and became a-'92-worked for another consulting firm, PRO Group, and then I left there and started my own firm in '93. So as a strategic change consultant, what I do with-and I have clients in all the sectors-The big umbrella thing that I do is I 105:00help them quickly recognize patterns that are working very, very well in their organization and to capture those patterns and embed them in the culture before they evaporate, to make them conscious because sometimes there are pockets of excellence here, here, and here, and they haven't connected those, so I bring them together to leverage. And I also help them recognize patterns of culture that are not working well, that could become toxic or that could make them spiral downward, or that get them stuck. And I try to do it in a way the doesn't leave blood on the carpet, that helps people maintain their personal dignity as they own their contribution to the problem, and I do that through helping them launch new initiatives, strategic planning, team building. I do board-governance and I do coaching.

HT: Wow, quite a journey you've had.

YC: Yes, and UNCG launched me on the journey. I don't think I would be here 106:00without what UNCG did. And yet, at the same time, I want UNCG to do better, to do more than it's doing. When I say-What I might ask you: How many vice presidents, how many deans, how many full professors of color do you have? How many are on the tenure track. I'm not sure that I would be proud of the number, although I am proud of the number of students of color that UNCG does have because I think it's more than any of the other state campuses.

HT: It is; it's about thirty-seven percent this year.

YC: Which is quite phenomenal.

HT: And the other figures, I don't have. I don't have that information but it's probably not as high as it should be.

YC: Well, the figure that I worry about is men of color. What are you doing to get men of color there, and what are you doing to help them stay there, once they are there? What kind of special programs do you have? Like when I was there-Like you could still learn from what I experienced. I was an outsider when 107:00I was there. I was struggling: "Am I going to flunk out every semester?" There was nothing in place to help me, so what's in place to help those young men stay there? What kind of programs and individual attention are they getting? So there's always something else you can do to kick things up a notch, but I just wish they would do it faster in the areas that need the most attention. But yes, I have no regrets about going to UNCG for my undergraduate and for my master's degree. It has opened many, many doors for me.

HT: That's great. Well, thank you so much. It's been wonderful to hear your stories this morning.

YC: Well, thank you for the questions, and also for being invited to participate in this project that I'm glad UNCG is doing.

HT: I'm so glad you were able to participate. That's just wonderful.

YC: Thank you, Hermann.

HT: Okay, thank you.