Image courtesy of St. Mary's College of Maryland

Morgan State University Students “Touch History” at St. Mary’s College

News Release, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

St. Mary’s City, MD- On Friday, July 19, Morgan State University students visited the St. Mary’s College of Maryland campus as part of “Touching History: Preservation in Practice,” a program developed by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the National Park Service, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s HOPE Crew, that connects historic preservation and conservation through a joint project with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The program examined St. Mary’s College’s relationship to slavery and how President Tuajuanda C. Jordan has led the process of commemorating and honoring these discoveries.

While on campus, Morgan State University students toured the site of the to-be-constructed A Commemorative to Enslaved Peoples of Southern Maryland with Maury Schlesinger, director of facilities planning, Julia A. King, professor of anthropology, and Jeffrey Coleman, professor of English. The students were introduced to the process of archaeological and archival discovery, site planning and community consultation, southern Maryland history, and how to commemorate history on a college campus.

Additional seminars from Kent Randell, college archivist, and King were held on the slave quarter project. Students also reviewed artifacts recovered from the quarter complex and discussed activity involving hands-on analysis of maps. Community members Mike Brown and Janice Walthour explained the community’s role in assisting the College with the decision-making of constructing the commemorative.

Coleman, who also sits on the commemorative committee, led a discussion on the commemorative’s development and presentation. Ellen Kohl, assistant professor of environmental studies, explained how the discovery of the College’s relationship to slavery has been incorporated into the College’s curriculum.

Morgan State University rising senior Tyriq Charleus had this feedback regarding the commemorative project: “The project at St. Mary’s College is very innovative, and I am really excited to see it completed. The work they are doing – the archaeology work, preserving the landscape – is a feat that is very impressive and is not being done enough around the country. I think St. Mary’s College is doing an amazing thing by being bold and taking the responsibility of preserving their campus and bringing light to the amazing and illustrious and dense history that they have. The project is really going to help to spread awareness about sites like this all around the country and not just on the St. Mary’s College campus.” 

The students also visited the Governor Calvert House site and Brome Quarter exhibit at Historic St. Mary’s City.

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