AU Golden Eagles: the Class of 1969

On Friday, October 4th, the Humanities Truck welcomed the Class of 1969 to the Golden Eagles Reunion at American University’s All-American Weekend. The event marked the 50th anniversary of the 1968-1969 academic year, dubbed “A Year of Protest, a Year of Reform,” by the student journalists at the Eagle. The Truck team joined forces with American University’s Archives to exhibit highlights from the year’s campus life and major events.


Maren Orchard talks with Leonard Cohen, a graduate of the Class of 1969.

Current students, parents, faculty, and alumni stepped into the Truck to view photographs while listening to a speech given by African American comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory. People flipped through copies of the Eagle, where students recorded the onslaught of campus protests next to spring sports scores and lists of fraternity pledges. A few alumni named unidentified individuals featured in photos, improvising new captions on Post-It notes next to the person featured. The exhibit created a space where alumni engaged with the people around
them and sparking memories of their time at AU.


Outside the Truck, several people sat down to record short interviews, expressing their perspective on campus social climate, rock concerts, sports teams, or how AU impacted their life. Each offered a glimpse into their feelings of 1969 and the unique interpretation between student experiences. As one man remarked, “We didn’t wake up each day and decide ‘Hey, let’s go to the protest today!’ It just sort of happened.”


Haley Steinhilber and Austin Arminio pose outside the Humanities Truck while stopping people walking on campus to check out the exhibition.

Check out the interviews and more photos from the event on the Class of 1969 Exhibit page.


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