Carolyn Hines, W&M Class of 1972, 1978
Carolyn Hines arrived at William & Mary in 1970, earning a Master of Education and a Doctorate of Education by 1978. During her time at William & Mary she participated in the Black Students Organization, the Graduate Student Association, W&M Theater, and Delta Sigma Theta. She also served as a Board of Visitors Liaison and was involved with the Williamsburg Area Women’s Center.
After graduating with her Ed.D. Hines founded C.W. Hines & Associates, a Virginia-based human resources development corporation, and continues to serve as President and co-owner. During this time she has also served on various statewide and nationwide commissions, boards, and has been awarded several honors from various agencies, including the Department of the Army, The Environmental Protection Agency. Hines has also served as an active member of the School of Education Development Board at William & Mary.
William & Mary
Interviewee: Carolyn Hines
Interviewer: Carmen Bolt
Interview Date: March 5, 2018
Carmen: My name is Carmen Bolt. I’m the oral historian at William and Mary. It’s currently around 2:00 p.m. on March 5th, 2018. I’m sitting with Carolyn Hines at her home in Whitestone, Virginia. So, Carolyn, can we start by you telling me the date and place of your birth?
Carolyn: I was born in Lawrenceville, Virginia, Brunswick County, March 18th, 1945.
Carmen: So, we’re coming up on a birthday.
Carolyn: That’s right. I’ll be 73.
Carmen: Very exciting. And what years did you attend William and Mary?
Carolyn: I attended William and Mary from entered from – only 1973 to ’78.
Carmen: Okay, great. And you attended as a graduate student.
Carolyn: That’s right.
Carmen: And you went to school, elsewhere. And I want to get to back to all of that, but before jump into your educational trajectory, do you mind telling me a bit, just about where and how you were raised in your family?
Carolyn: I am the second oldest of six children. My parents were actually civil rights activists, so I grew up in the Civil Rights Movement.
0:00:59.7 My parents were – my mother was the field secretary for the NAACP, so we covered voter registration, overturning the poll tax, and housed several children in our home in Buzzard County to go to school, after the schools were closed in Prince Edward County, to stop integration. There was massive resistance. So, I grew up in that whole movement, as well.
Both of my parents were fired from their jobs for doing voter registration, so my father started a junk – picking up junk, trash business to take care of his family. They grew it into a very successful business. That’s a little bit about those years. I graduated, when to segregated high school, James Solomon Russell High School, in Lawrenceville, Virginia, and had a marvelous education, because in segregated schools, all of the teachers taught us.
0:02:00.4 And there was no, no compunction about correction and discipline, and they were also part of the community, so we went to the same church, so it was a solid education, as well. So, that’s a little bit about how I grew up.
Went to St. Paul’s College, an Episcopal, historical black college, in Lawrenceville, then went, spent a year at Wellesley College, as a Liddell Fellow, as well, my junior year was at Wellesley.
Carmen: And when did you start thinking about college? And how did you choose to attend where you did attend?
Carolyn: Well, college was always, education was always important, and it was just drilled into us that you are going to get a college education, as well. And my husband, we were in high school together (so we’ve been together for 55 years) and at that time, he had wanted to go to Hampton University.
0:03:01.5 I wanted to go to Virginia State University, but I needed to live at home, so it was – only had five miles to go to college, go to school, so. That’s how I went to St. Paul’s College. And they gave me a full scholarship. I was a winner of the United Negro College Fund’s writing contest one year. On a symbol for the Civil Rights Movement. And I selected the turtle, and won a writing scholarship. So, that’s how my undergraduate education was funded. Through scholarships, as well.
Carmen: Sure. Then, what about the one year at Wesley?
Carolyn: Wellesley College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Wellesley had a program, a partnership program with historical black colleges and universities, to provide a single-sex education opportunity. Wellesley is an all-women's college.
0:03:56.0 And so, it was – there were maybe seven or eight dorms on that campus, so they wanted – there was one African American female for each dorm. So, it was – they wanted to – it was a social experiment to attract women of color to the Seven Sister Schools: Sarah Lawrence, Wellesley, Smith, Radcliff – those schools.
Carmen: And so, what was your experience there, being part of that social experiment?
Carolyn: Oh, I loved it. I loved every minute of being at Wellesley. I saw – I really came to know the difference between wealth and poverty. Very, very wealthy students there. The Kelloggs were there from Battle Creek, Michigan. Extremely wealthy people who were genuinely good people and so I – that’s when I learned that the rich are truly different.
Carolyn: Very different, as well.
0:05:00.6 So, made good friends, life-long friends. We’re still close to – one of my suitemates was Diane Sawyer.
Carmen: Oh, my goodness.
Carolyn: For example.
Carmen: Right. And so, was that your final year, then?
Carolyn: No, it was my junior year. You went your junior year, then you came back to your college of record for your senior year.
Carmen: Okay, great. And what did you choose to study, and how did you get into that in particular?
Carolyn: Well, the scholarship was for – to major in English. I majored in English, with a concentration in writing, and also had enough credits to pick up a double-major in mathematics, because I was able to test out of math classes. So, only needed eight, nine of 12 credits. So, my degree – I have a degree, Bachelor of Arts in English, with a minor in Mathematics. Of course, I taught math for a while. And my graduate degrees are all from William and Mary.
Carmen: Right. So, did you know what you wanted to do with these degrees when you started out?
Carolyn: I wanted to go to law school. I really wanted to go to law school. I was actually selected as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. Wanted to go to the University of Virginia Law School, but they were not admitting women. So, and then my husband and I got married my senior year in college, and he’s Army. So, we went – he’s an Army officer. So, we went to live in Europe, which was very fabulous.
Carmen: My goodness. Where did you live?
Carolyn: We lived in Germany.
Carmen: What was that experience?
Carolyn: Lovely, just wonderful. Didn’t want to leave. Extend it and have a good life. Our daughter was born there. Did a lot of travel, and I worked in – I worked there, for the Department of Defense Education System, and for the University of Maryland. So, it was a very good experience.
Carmen: Yeah. So, can you tell me a little bit about the process of coming back to the states? Was he transferred to a different post?
Carolyn: He was – he was pulled up on orders for Viet Nam.
0:06:57.6 So, because he had to go to Vietnam, I came back to Virginia to be close, be close to family, and looked at graduate schools, and chose William and Mary, because of the program that I originally want to go into.
Carmen: And what was . . .?
Carolyn: I wanted to go – I wanted to get a Masters in Psychology. And at the time, we were steered – no African American students were in the, in those programs. We were steered to education. As a matter of fact, the dean of the school (his name was Robert Jones) offered to pay my tuition to attend Virginia State University. Event to pay transportation from round trip, if I would go. So – and I said, “No, I’ll stay here at William and Mary. I can ride my bike.” Because I’d already had gotten an apartment, and I had planned to – I said, “I can ride my bike to and from class.”
Carmen: But they were definitely steering you away from doing psychology, so you then decided to pursue something at the school, then?
Carolyn: That was the only school that open to us. That was the only school that was admitting us, so – I said, “Okay, I can play this game.” It’s really, literally what we said. We said, we can play this game. So, I went to the School of Ed. And then took all the psychology courses that I could, because I had a friend, actually (she was at Virginia Tech) who said, “This is what you need to do. Take these courses, and then sit for the Professional Licensed Professional Counselor Exam. That’s how you get your certification. It doesn’t matter. They don’t care once you pass the test.” So, that’s kind of what many of us did. We just truncated the whole process, and went that way to get professional licenses, as opposed to the Clinical route.
Carmen: Sure. So, this sounds like maybe it was common in all of Virginia at that time, if not even more broadly –
Carolyn: Well, it was – it – to get a good understanding, Carmen, you might want to read the book, “Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County.”
Carolyn: I don’t know if you know that or not. But that is exactly what happened. Rather than allowing black students to matriculate at the white institutions in Virginia, they would pay for black professionals to go to Columbia or go out of the state, because it was very clear through passive resistance that we were not – they didn’t want us in the Virginia schools. So –
Carmen: Right. That completely makes sense. I guess I was thinking, and it’s my own ignorance, I think, a little bit. So, I will read up on that time between the 60s and the 70s. So, William and Mary decides to – makes the decision to allow African Americans to live in residence in 1967, and so I guess in my own mind, I haven’t really been able to figure out what that then looked like for African Americans in the years following 1967. There’s that first decade, even, when still the numbers were very few. And they were, it sounds like.
Carolyn: It was. But there was one in the law school, it might be – was only two in my class, and we were never together. We were – I was the only African American student in many of my classes, as well. And then we would get together on off time. That’s when we found out that many of the white students were in study groups, with the professors, and none of us were ever in those study groups. So, we formed our own study groups, as well. If it weren’t for some of the secretaries who told us what was going on, the maids and the administrative staff, they always told us what’s – this is who is – and this is what they’re studying, and this is where they’re meeting. So, we had kind of an underground network. And we just kind of took care of each other. As a matter of fact, one of the guys that I met in graduate school, came a week to help me, with my husband, and his wife. And so, we all stayed very close, who were there at the time, so –
Carmen: Absolutely. One of the questions I have to ask, really is the experience of being an African American woman during that time that you were at William and Mary. You already talked a little bit about that, but would you expand on that some? Just speak generally about that?
Carolyn: Well, I mean, it was a good experience. I got a good education. I have Master’s Certificate of Advanced Study, and a Doctorate at William and Mary, as well as – I got my Doctorate at William and Mary, because at the time, the State of Virginia issued a program called The Minority Virginia Fellows Program, which paid for, paid for graduate – terminal graduate degrees. So, I competed for that, and got one. So, I just stayed at William and Mary. And got a Doctorate. So, it was a, was a good experience.
I think for me, Carmen, being the child of civil rights activists and growing up in the movement, just throw something else at me.
0:11:58.4 Okay? It was that kind of a – so much of how we navigated it was a game. It was, okay, let’s see what else you going to throw at us, at this point, as well. As a matter of fact, one of the professors, Dr. Galfo recently died, gave me a B in a, in a statistics class. And I had the highest – I had a 94 grade point average in the class. And he said, “Well, B is a very noble grade.” And he said, “You know, you’ll probably end up teaching school, and you know these guys are going to go on to be superintendents.” And so, I challenged it. And I was the first student ever to challenge him on that. He changed it to an A. I said, “Listen, these guys wouldn’t even be able to pass this damn class, if I wasn’t helping them with their math.” I said, “Now, how we going to play this, Doctor?” I’ll never forget it. I said, “How we going to play this, Dr. Galfo?” And he said, “I don’t know.” And I said, “Well, if it were you, what would you do?” Because I grew up in the movement, so I knew how to talk to white people.
0:13:00.2 I said, “If it were you, or I were your daughter, what would you have her do? Would a B be fine?” And he said, “Well, I’ll take care of it.” He changed it to an A.
Carolyn: But many of the African American students just wouldn’t challenge. They’d just get the B and just get out. But it was just – it was just – it still burns in my gut what some of the things that would be said to us in the classes, as well. I had one professor who said – I was in a class, and the man who just left (went on to become very successful) – we were the only two in the class. And then I was in a class with Dr. Wilson. That’s where we met. And we decided to just, okay, let’s just come up with these graduate degrees. And he said, announced to the class, about 30 students. I had some good white friends in there, too, as well.
0:13:56.9 And he said, “For you colored people here, this’ll probably be the last class that you’ll need.” So, we – the moment somebody says something like that, we just simply sit, and sign up for the next class, as well. So, that was very common. Very common at William and Mary.
Carmen: Yeah. So, like everybody else at William and Mary, you were pursuing your education, but, unlike everyone else, you were experiencing macro-aggressions on that scale, in most of the classes you were in?
Carolyn: That’s a very sophisticated name for it. For systemic discrimination. It’s systemic, which means it was organized and supported. By the infrastructure of the university as well.
Carmen: Yeah, absolutely. Was there anyone at an administrative level that you looked to at all as a mentor or an advocate or an ally?
Carolyn: I did. I had a mentor who actually, his name was Robert Maidment, Dr. Robert Maidment. He was in organizational development, as well. And so, he overheard me talking about what I would like to do, because I’ve always liked the idea of psychology, organizational development. And my advisor at the time was a man name Dr. Fred Adair, who was as racist as the day is long. I mean, we were conditioned to recognized it. And so, Dr. Maidment, at the time, but still, the college professors are allowed to do consulting and training as agents to different agencies. The tricky part of that is they don’t pay any overhead. They pay no overhead, so to compete with small businesses is ridiculous.
0:16:02.2 You can’t do it. So, Dr. Maidment, at the time was, was developing his own consulting practice, and Dr. Adair had told him about me and another African American man who was a principle in Hampton, Virginia, because we were steered toward education, because was the appropriate route for black professionals. So, Maidment came to me, and he wanted to bid on a contract, and he needed an African American facilitator as well. And I had been trained in the Army as a facilitator, just as a – just as an old-fashioned facilitator. And he said, “Let’s make a deal. I’ll get you transferred, to be your advisor, as well as, you’ve got to come over and do a lot more organizational development.” So, that’s how it happened.
Carolyn: And Robert Maidment was just an incredible person. I worked as, for him as part of this facilitation team. It was to provide consulting and training services to state agencies to help them navigate affirmative action.
Carolyn: And he needed black people. So, that’s how I met Wes Wilson.
Carmen: Ah –
Carolyn: That’s how – Dr. Johnny Miles was another one. He needed highly skilled facilitators, because it was so confrontational. That’s how I got to know the – to Southwest Virginia, on one of those contracts, as well. At the time, then when I finished, I was after my Masters, I got hired by Lafayette High School, because they needed – they were forced, being forced to hire African American teachers.
0:18:00.7 So, I was teaching there. (I only taught there one year.) And I got in a lot of trouble, because I organized a protest. I grew up in the protest movement, we would protest everything. So, I put – I organized the kids at Lafayette High School to protest the library, because the librarian didn’t want 8th graders in the library. The library was a museum. This is a library! It’s a public library.
So, we made the news. They did a protest. They opened up the – she opened up the library to 8th graders, and I made the news. And so, the superintendent then, of Williamsburg Public Schools cautioned me that, that doing those kinds of things would probably not be good for my career. So, that was the end of that. I mean, I then was telling Bob Maidment about it, and he said, “We’re not going to – you’re not going to stay there.”
0:18:59.8 I mean, he was, he was a tormentor at the same time he was a mentor. He says, you’re not going to work for those crazy people. So, he put in a call to a friend of his at Thomas Nelson Community College, and I got hired there the next day. So, I never did go back to Lafayette. I’d organized a group to actually teach reading. The black kids couldn’t read. And they were being – being forced – so, we had, I had, and I trained some of the teachers to teach them how to read. As a matter of fact, a couple of the guys who went pro, I taught them how to read. They couldn’t read. So, that was their problem.
So, anyway, that’s a little bit of my Williamsburg history. So, after that I just went to Thomas Nelson. Stayed there for, for five years and became the director of the counseling center there. Got it - certified psychological support services, testing and all those – loved it – loved the job.
0:20:00.4 Was still working with Bob Maidment and Wes Wilson, several of us, because Bob had the contracts. So, we were making – we were making really – I mean, it was a great salaried job. And then I had to hustle, doing the consulting in training. And what happened – several of the state agencies started to request me to work with their staff, because I just have the facility to not piss people off, and get them to work together. So, Wes and I, and another person, we said, well, why are we doing this (and with Bob Maidment, as well). Bob, by the way, ended up working for me a long time, until he became unable to work. And so, we said, well, let’s start our own firm.
0:20:57.4 So, Wes applied for a leave of absence from William and Mary. They granted it. I applied for a leave of absence, just to test the waters, from Thomas Nelson. It was denied. Another person applied, they were denied their leaves, too. So, my husband says, “Well, just quit. Look how easy it is for you to get a job. You’ve got this license. You’ve got . . .” By then I had my professional counseling license. I had – I was managing family therapist. I had all those licenses, because tests were easy for me to do. So, they just – go get it, because then you can’t argue with the credentials, which is a strategy that many African Americans have in place. I have every credential you can get. Throw me another one. So, I’d just go get them. So, my husband says, “Well, just quit. Quit the job. I mean it’s not – I mean I’m going to be . . .” he was a major in the Army at the time. Says, “I can feed us. You need to go on your own.” So, I did.
0:21:59.5 And so, in ’78, we started the company, and it grew to over 345 people. So, that’s kind of where we got to. And then, one of the seminars that we do is “Simplify Your Life.” We do it for Social Security Administrations. We just decided to do it. It’s based on where you live and work, and how it brings you joy. So, that’s how we got to say [joy], as well.
Carmen: Wow. That all sounds great, and a fascinating trajectory. And so, I have so many questions about so many parts of that, if you don’t mind – all of it.
Carmen: Well, back to your time at William and Mary – I have a list of the things you were involved in, but I don’t have dates with it. So, I’m not sure if they were when you there as a Master’s student, or getting your Doctorate, but – so, I have a list. You were involved as a member of the Black Students Organization; -
0:22:57.9 you were a Board of Visitors Liaison; a member of Delta Sigma Theta; part of the Graduate Student Association; William and Mary Theater; Women’s Leadership Program; Habitat for Humanity; and worked with Williamsburg Area Women’s Center. So, you did a lot. You were involved in a lot. What motivated you to get involved in those particular things, and be so engaged?
Carolyn: Just – we were raised as little children to be involved. You’ve got to be in the mix or – you have to be in the mix. And I liked those activities, as well. I was also on the Development Board of Education, for about 8 years I think.
Carolyn: At the same time, I was on the Board, actually on the Board of Visitors at Christopher Newport. So, just interest, and I enjoy them, as well.
Carmen: So, what – did those different organizations facilitate any community spaces? I’ve spoken, I guess to Warren Buck, and a couple other individuals who participated in the early years of Black Students Organization, and it’s kind of purposes at that time.
0:24:04.9 And I was wondering if you’d like to talk about your experience with it.
Carolyn: I wasn’t a big thing in the activities, because I wasn’t interested in socializing, as well.
Carolyn: And I wasn’t interested in a lot of conversation. I just wanted to see your action plan. I wanted to see what you were going to do. What are the impacts? So, a lot of the things I didn’t have active participation in, unless it was a direct outcome that contributed to uplift in the African American community. If I didn’t see it, I’m not going to come to a party or a cocktail hour or networking. I’m just not. I’m not going to do it. So.
Carmen: Yeah, that makes complete sense. Was there anything in particular that you did see as like really action-oriented during your time there that you got involved in?
Carolyn: Yeah, working with many of the high school kids to get them to – to get them good, solid financial aid, how to fill out forms, how to get into college.
0:25:02.4 I was really – loved the project of getting them to understand the power of the community college. And then my husband and I became fascinated by how you can go to college to get a good education without debt. And so, we spend a lot of time, even now, working with kids. This is how you find money.
Carolyn: So, I – especially with African American kids. They graduate with too much debt, so they can’t ever get out from under that particular stigma. So, if it had something – if it was hand-on with kids, I did it. I loved that. Love the projects through Delta Sigma Theta. They’re very active in terms of outcome. Still very active today with that.
Carmen: Sure. Great. So, sort of honing on your time at William and Mary, do you have any particular favorite memories, or just really powerful memories that have stayed with you?
Carolyn: Well, the whole association with, with Bob Maidment. I have a personal belief that God works through people, and that was an angel that God just put in my path, and we stayed close. We visited him in Boca Raton, and just – he’s just been marvelous. But he was like that wherever he saw talent. That’s how he would say it. He’d say, you were a talented student, so he would put us together, as well. Although, he had an ulterior motive to staff his contracts, which is fine, which was fine. He could have not just picked me out of that group, but he was just absolutely wonderful.
As well, Ginny McLaughlin, I don’t know if you know her, or not. But she was, she was wonderful, just in terms of just having me participate, come back and participate.
0:26:57.8 Because I’m not in traditional education. I became an entrepreneur, which was very different for an educational route. And, the dean at the time, Robert Jonas (you might want to look up his history). I believe he committed suicide at some point. I mean, just the incarnation, I grew up afraid of the Klan, just concerned about the Klan, aware of the Klan, because we were always threatened by the Klan, and had some very horrible experiences with the Ku Klux Klan. And every time I saw him, I could just see a white hood. That’s how the visual impact. So, it was very motivational for me, in that.
But there were wonderful, wonderful memories and associations. Violet Clark, marvelous people, who were just very helpful. We lived in Williamsburg East Apartments at the time. Right in front – right across the hall from us was Marcel De Soigne who was the chef at Colonial Williamsburg
0:28:01.1 And his wife was in school, up – I met her at school, and I’d say, okay, come live here. So, we remained friends for years and years. Marcel went on to, to – you know the Trellis Restaurant?
Carolyn: That was his restaurant. And that idea was born on our dining room table, because he would sample his dishes. So, I think they now own the – I think he went on to sell it, but we stayed friends for many years, as well. Our kids grew up together. They’re now friends.
Carmen: Wonderful– yeah, it sounds like more than anything, just individuals that you met were –
Carolyn: Just individuals. Very, very impactful. As a matter of fact, my daughter got her Masters from William and Mary, too, as well, so –
Carolyn: She came along many years later, but she said, well, mine was a good experience, my mother had a good experience there. So, I said, “Go ahead to William and Mary. Get your Masters, as well. You might want to interview her.
Carmen: Yeah! No, absolutely.
Carolyn: As a generational issue.
Carmen: Yeah, do you think she’d be interested?
0:29:00.0 I would be very happy to do so. Yeah, and compare a little bit of the differences at the time that you attended there. And other individuals who were there at the same time, for sure.
Carolyn: Right, right.
Carmen: So, you lived in Williamsburg, and you are attending William and Mary. Did you see much meshing of the Williamsburg community at large with William and Mary? Or vice versa? I know, obviously a lot of the staff persons at the William and Mary campus would be from the Williamsburg area. But I’ve always wondered how those communities interacted.
Carolyn: The communities were distinctively segregated. Powerful in their own dimension. For example, one of the part-time jobs that I did when I was there was through Colonial Williamsburg, but the African Americans couldn’t be seen by the public. So, we worked there, but we did back-office. Okay, we’d have to go through the back, and all that was still – this is the 70s, still.
Carolyn: And you’ll see that when you read the “Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County,” as well, because that county, what happened there, set the tone for the nation. Not just for Virginia. And we still, to this day try to recover from that. So, when they strip the money out of public education, and close the schools, and money went to the academies, those academies are still operating from the funds – the academy – all private academies. So –
Carolyn: Saw that happen. It was – there were individuals who – I went to church at the 1st – at the church there with bells, because of a person at William and Mary. She said, well come on, you’ll go to church with me. And she helped me find a babysitter, because my daughter was 2, at the time. So, just how the community just, just put a circle of strength around you. Particularly, those of us who were graduate students.
0:31:01.4 I had one person, one maid at William and Mary, says, “Chile, you gonna need all the help you can get. I’m a tell you navigating these white folks, so . . .” So, that’s what they did. They just collected us up and took care of us.
Carmen: Wow. And that church you’re talking about, that’s the one in Braxton Court?
Carmen: So, was there a lot of interaction between, then, undergraduate student and graduate students? Or those were their own sort of . . .
Carolyn: There were so few African American students, graduate or undergraduate, so very few, so we would get together socially, from time to time. But I just didn’t have time for a lot of social. My husband was, was in Vietnam, then when he came back, he was stationed in Norfolk. And I was working by then. And started the Certificate of Advanced Studies. As a matter of fact, one of my – I didn’t know anything about that degree.
0:31:58.0 And he said – remember, there were no women. There were no women professors there – they were all – I mean, so you’ve got, for the, for the history, that’s the history. So, I had a professor who told me about – I think I was just finishing up my Masters. He said, “It’ll only take you a couple more courses. Take the Certificate of Advanced Study,” he said, “because should you decide to stay in education . . .” his name was [Jefroy], Dr. Jefroy. He says, “You can get this. The way you write, smart as you are, get this.” He had filled out the top of the application. And I said, “Okay.” And just did it. And got it in, I think less than a year. Just finished it.
Carmen: Wow. And so, when did you officially return? Or was there like a return period for your PhD, or was it just your Masters, and you were getting certificates in between, and then you went on?
Carolyn: Well, what happened, I was at Thomas Nelson.
Carmen: Yes, that’s right.
Carolyn: And the State Council of Higher Education made this program available, called the Minority Virginia Scholars Program, as well. And actually, it was President Graves, was at the time, who said to Dr. Wilson, find some of the students and put them in this program. So, I was working at Thomas Nelson and teaching math part time at Fort Eustis, for soldiers to build their math skills. And lo and behold, I got in. And see, the interesting thing is that the Masters, technically, it’s the first 30 hours of a Doctorate, anyway. And then I had the Certificate of Advanced Study, that was another 30 hours there, so by the time they did the calculation, I only needed to do 9 hours and write a dissertation.
0:34:01.7 So, Bob Maidment maneuvered – Bob Maidment took responsibility for, he said, I’m going to wire your dissertation committee, because that, that dissertation process, defense, was a trump door. It just trumped a lot of African Americans. They would have to re-do it and re-do it and re-do it. Particularly if they had Galfo, if they had Fields, if they had Adair - if they had the ones that were notoriously narrow minded in terms of capability of African Americans . . . So, Bob said, “Don’t worry. You know, I’m going to be the chair, and we’re going to wire it.” And so, he – I’m going to tell you how they wired it. They wired it to make sure that several of the professors who were notorious for blocking African Americans were not available.
Carolyn: So, it was, they were angels. So, I got the Doctorate – was – the Doctorate was the easiest degree to get. It was easier than the Masters.
Carmen: Right, wow. Yeah, that’s fascinating. And also fascinating that the education, while being continuous, was still disjointed, and you were working in so many different realms, and doing so many different things at the time, and yet, yeah, I just – I mean, astounding. I knew, doing research of course, how many different things you’d had your hand in, and how many different accomplishments you have, but hearing it, it’s pretty remarkable. And really inspiring, because –
Carolyn: Well, many of them were overlapping, you know, as well, and then at Thomas Nelson I good flexibility, because to get to do the coursework, even with kids, it was – well, I got it done.
Carmen: Great. Thanks for sharing that. And we talked a little bit about this as well, so I just want to put it out there, if there’s anything else you want to add.
0:36:02.6 But, are there any difficult memories. And you named a couple of individuals who definitely stand out, but were there any difficult moments or memories in particular that you have from your time at William and Mary?
Carolyn: Yeah, lots. I remember knowing that many of the white students had old tests to study from. They had old tests. They had, you know, and they would do the study groups with the professors. And we knew it. We knew it. And I asked twice about joining a study group, and you know, was told, flat out that I had one, one of the fellow white students – I said to her, I said, “Carolyn,” (her name was Carolyn, Carolyn Gless) I said, “Are you in a study group?” And she said, “Well, sometimes.” And I said, “Well, how can I get in a study group?” And she said, “Well, I’ll let you know.” Never did, as well. And then I asked a professor about it. Adair.
0:36:57.4 I said, “I understand that you all have study groups.” And he said, “Who told you that?” You know, as well. Those are seared in my memory, as well. The study group issue was, is very raw, still after all these years, still raw. How many of them were going on, and the access to old study materials, particularly getting through statistics? Getting through those classes. Test and measurement. Those tests. Well, math was my thing, so, so then what I did was form a study group of African American students, to help them make sure that they got passed. Those as well.
But I don’t know if any of them ever challenged the B grades, because you couldn’t get a C. A C was a failure in graduate school.
Carmen: Right. But you did. And you successfully got that grade changed. Yeah. I can imagine how that would stay with you after all this time.
Carolyn: But beyond that, the – I remember applying for – I wanted a teaching fellow – and being told by the person who ran that, that whole project. It would have been a very nice kind of a – and I wouldn’t have to worry about working at Colonial Williamsburg, picking up extra money. And she said that she didn’t think students would be ready to have an African American teaching fellow in those areas. So. And I said, “Okay.”
As a child of a civil right activist, we pick our battles, as well. I was already making good money, working banquet and things like that. I was very nice, and accommodating to the rich, white people, so they’d tip me well. [laughing] I just made it work.
Carmen: Yeah, it sounds like your parents, and just your track in growing up in the activist sort of environment, definitely. You see that thread run all the way through.
Carolyn: Exactly, exactly, just – there are just some battles not worth picking.
Carmen: And just speaking of activism, and you know, I’ve interviewed several different individuals who talk about William and Mary not being a very activist oriented school. Sometimes I’ll hear stories about something happening in Viet Nam, or whatever, but I’m wondering, aside from just combating systemic racism in your everyday life, living in Williamsburg and going to William and Mary, do you remember any other national or socio-political things playing out on William and Mary’s campus?
Carolyn: I remember wanting to do a voter registration project, and the school – I wanted the School of Education to sponsor it as an education process, and they said, no. They would not do that. That they were not political. And I’ll never forget that, you know, as well.
0:39:59.8 I went to the dean, had the proposal, and we tried it several times. There were several of us who would who said, it is education. It belongs in education. It doesn’t belong in political science. This is an education process, which would have required people to do some outreach work. To go to churches, to –
Carmen: Yeah –
Carolyn: And they wouldn’t – they would absolutely not do it, as well, so – that’s one that still . . .
Carolyn: You know, it just underscored that you know, there is systemic racism. This is institutionalized racism, and once it’s entrenched, it takes decades. Those people have to die out. Period. They have to die, because at that point, systemic discrimination, racism, it’s genetic. [chuckles] At that point, it’s just . . . I remember being told by Galfo, as a matter of fact, he actually challenged me on – I had scored 100, and finished the math.
0:41:04.7 And he said, “Are you sure you weren’t cheating?” And he said he’d never met, he’d never met Negroes who were that smart in math. And I said, “Well, how many do you really know? Really? How many?” I said, “How many have you met? How many do you know? Give me the names of two or three of them, and let’s have a check.” He couldn’t. He – it was just so pre-supposed that we couldn’t do math. I mean, you know how that goes, so –
Carmen: Yeah. Which was likely engrained.
Carolyn: Engrained. Engrained. Well. I said, “Everybody I know does math. Everybody related to me; everybody where I grew up. I mean, we all do math. It’s just very easy to do.” And I wish he had lived long enough to see “Hidden Figures.” Have you seen that movie?
Carmen: Yes, and read the book. It’s--
Carolyn: Christine Darden, from the book, was my math teacher.
Carmen: Oh, my goodness.
Carolyn: She was my math teacher in high school She said, “Of course, of course you can do math.” That’s what we were told. So, all of us did math. So –
Carmen: Yeah. I can’t imagine, honestly, obviously. I imagine that sort of confrontation about succeeding. You were succeeding.
Carolyn: He actually had me, one time, redo a test. He gave me another test, in his presence.
Carmen: You did it.
Carolyn: Yeah, I missed two. I made 97. And I said, “Well, gosh. Do you want me to another one?” So, then he wrote a – he wrote a letter to the dean requesting that I be retested.
0:42:58.8 Because I was denied admission to the Master’s program. That’s when they said, “We’re not accepting new applicants at this time.” And they referred me to Virginia State. And I said, “Okay, I’ll just try and apply again.”
Carmen: So – despite all of that, you look back on your education and experience at William and Mary in a positive way?
Carolyn: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely, yes.
Carmen: How have you been able to reconcile those two kinds of disparate kind of things? Good education received, but also just, you know, dehumanizing and just discriminating experience?
Carolyn: Part of it is the way we were raised. We were raised by parents that drilled into us, a community drilled into us, that racism is really the disease of the oppressor.
0:43:59.6 It’s not my disease. I don’t buy that. So, we never were allowed to – because it wasn’t our disease. And we were raised reinforcing that we were descendants of the greatest of the kings and queens of Africa. Because if these white people came from nothing. They came from nothing. They had nothing. He said, you came – your ancestors survived middle passage, and there’s nothing associated with that but strength and dignity, and so we were raised - as a matter of fact, one person said, “No wonder you all are so arrogant.” I mean, we were just raised to believe that our son, who went to Morehouse, they were raised to believe that we’re brilliant. And there’s nothing we can’t do. So – it was part of our upbringing.
Carmen: That’s powerful.
Carolyn: It really is, and we took, we take a lot of, we spent a lot of time with kids, boys and girls club kids. My husband started a successful camp program called the 100 Black Men of the Virginia Peninsula. Hundreds of kids we’ve sent to college, and educated, because we believe. And these kids thrive. We’ve got a program here now, with the Boys and Girls Club. They’re waiting for us to get that one off the ground. We’re raising $3,000,000 to build a teen center here. Paul Trible, from Christopher Newport is my co- Paul was – Mary Trible – they’re my co-leaders, as well. So, there’s nothing we can’t do. Absolutely nothing we can’t do. Before you go, you can look – we were recognized last Spring as role models of the year. 700 people came to that event. You just, you just get out of their way, and let them shine and let them develop.
0:46:00.0 You know, so, that’s how we were raised. Everybody in my community are college educated. They’re – my sister went back to medical school after working 16 years at the Post Office. Got into every medical – people said, “You’re too old. You’re not going to . . .” She got into every medical school she applied to. She graduated from undergraduate school with her daughter, okay? So . . . Everybody in my community, they are super-professionals, and super-educated, because that’s how we were raised.
Carmen: Yeah, and now you’re imparting that exact sentiment, that exact idea that it’s not your disease. These – you came from people who overcame great challenges.
Carolyn: Exactly – middle passage. Can you imagine? Middle passage. We took our kids, children, and our grandchildren, we took them to a program called Grammy Camp, where we bring all the cousins together, and we teach them their history.
0:47:01.1 And so, we had them go to Jamestown. You get on that slave ship, you understand how your ancestors got here. The kids find it absolutely fascinating. You know, it’s not done. We used to often say what’s taught in school is his story, her story, it’s not ours. So, we call it his story. And so, they grow up. So, now we’ve got my grandchildren with my granddaughter, participated in a writing contest held by the NAACP, to select a civil rights icon role model – Rosa Parks, role models, okay. She chose her great grandmother, and she won. She won the writing contest. She said, my great grandmother’s a she-ro. Talking about my mother, as well. And she said, I’m going to write about people I know. My grammy, she – and my grandfather, my husband and my great grandmother, my nanna, and she just, as a 5th grader, that’s who she wrote about.
0:48:02.2 And she won a writing contest. I said, “Olivia! You won a writing contest.” She was in the 5th grade. She’s now in the 9th grade.
Carolyn: So, there are – they’re already accomplished. Our kids, we raised them to believe they could do absolutely anything. So, they’re now part of a group we call Team Diva. And we work with kid girls on your Diva – you were to pick a D word. My is determined, innovative and vivacious and achieving. So, you have to build your DIVA poster, and you have to live it every day.
Carmen: That’s awesome.
Carolyn: And they’re doing it. That’s what they’re doing now. My granddaughter is seventeen, a senior in high school. She just going to allow the highest bidder. They’re just bidding on her, okay, as well . Just wait, before she makes a commitment for schools.
Carmen: Just empowerment from the very beginning.
Carolyn: From the womb.
R; That’s great –
Carolyn: But we’re doing that, we’re doing that, talk about – we do that for girls, especially, because I got a lot of white girls involved in DIVA, as well. And now the white guys, my husband does a program called SWAG, and its Success While Achieving Godliness. That’s for guys. And there are white guys are in it. Oh, SWAG. So, now they’re beginning to trickle in, as well.
If you empower people based on the belief that everyone makes a contribution, everybody has gifts. Everybody has gifts. And your responsibility is to create an environment for those gifts to flourish, as well. And so, they’re coming around.
Carmen: Yeah, and it sounds like you do that at all levels for students and youth, but also within the workplace.
Carolyn: Oh, absolutely. For, and I work – now, what we do is – one of the most joyful programs we do right now has to do with coaching.
0:50:05.6 Joy-based coaching. What brings you joy? And you build a joy plan, as well. If you see the houses – those belong to us. So, we bring people in here, kind of not too rustic (because I don’t believe in too rustic) and they can fish, and they can crab, and they have – they go to the spa. But they look at their marriage. We do marriage retreats. We do joy retreats. We do team building. It’s all about, about taking advantage of today. It’s a present. That’s why it’s call the present. And then you build your plans, based on that. So, that’s pretty much what we do now.
Carmen: I don’t know what to say other than wow. I mean, just listening to that – joy seems to be one of the first things to go when you get caught down in the murk of just thinking about the future, or try to plan things. Or overworking, and all that, so –
Carolyn: Well, people ask me now, how you doing with your husband’s illness? Because he can’t – he can’t walk, he can’t talk. It’s very similar to ALS, and I say, “We have a lot of joyful moments.” He’s got a team that loves taking care of him, and the kid from the Boys and Girls Club come. They sing. So, everybody’s participating, and making it a joyful experience. It’s not happy; it’s joy. What brings you joy, as well.
One of the projects that we do is Theater Freedom. If you were to look at, go online and look at Theater Freedom, Rosemary Trible, as well. Well we put together every – I’ll have to put you down, so you can come this year.
Carmen: Yeah, please.
Carolyn: We do, we do a joy luncheon, and we bring 75-80 women to the president’s house at Christopher Newport, and we sing, and we pray for each other, and then you have to provide joy to somebody else, as well.
0:52:02.4 So, it’s just spreading joy. So, now, we’re over 10,000 strong, as well. Particularly in helping women overcome the trauma of sex assault and those things. Your past is not your future.
Carmen: Yeah. And that sort of thing, what the fear associated with, and the pain associated with this can be so crippling.
Carolyn: Yes, exactly. So, that’s, that’s kind of what we do, and what we do now. Still a lot of work to do.
Carmen: Yes, but at the same time, that is, you’re doing so much, and that is so inspiring.
Carolyn: Well, thank you.
Carmen: Just hearing about it I’m getting emotional, and – all that good stuff.
So, I mean, we’ve covered a lot of what I wanted to talk about, and I really want to just hear about what you view out of all these things you’ve done. I mean, you’ve published. You’ve been in – certified at the highest levels of therapist, and you’re doing all these initiatives, being an advocate for so many.
0:53:01.2 What do you look back on, or presently think of as your proudest accomplishment or achievement?
Carolyn: Oh my gosh, what an interesting question. You know, my marriage – I’m sure you get this a lot – my marriage and my family. My kids. And the grandkids. Just keeping it together. Keeping it sane. My husband and I have been together 55 years, so, you know, I was feeding him earlier today, and then the physical therapist came by and she said, “I’ve never seen anybody do this as well, because I’m very concerned about him aspirating something into his lungs.” We had lot of good friends whose husband died because he had a food particle that was still in his mouth.
0:53:58.3 So, I put my hand in his mouth, to make sure that nothing is in there. And I found a little piece of particle. And I said, “You left this particle and she said, “You put your hand...?” I said, “I’m not going to let him die from aspirating something in his lungs when I can get it out of his mouth!” You know. You just do what you can, as well.
I have a motto about controlling the controllable. You just control the controllable. God will help you. You know it’s well – just get out of your own way.
But I would say just, my husband and I had been working together for the last – I mean, we were partners probably for the last – because Wes and I were partners technically until he retired, and William came to work in the company when he retired from the Army.
0:54:57.8 I would say that building a business together, and working together in the family. All the family works in the business. My sister-in-law, who just left. That’s his sister. She works for us.
Carmen: I mean, I’m sure some challenges arise, but there are benefits too, to just having that circle so tight, so interconnected.
Carolyn: We’re very, very tight. That’s probably very intentional. Extremely intentional. Our granddaughter’s graduating from Glen Ellyn High School, and so she wants to go on a graduation cruise, because that’s not been done before. So, we put it out. I think so far 35 people [laughing] said, “What a great idea! I’m in!” And they paid already. Last, and this was marvelous; I’ll probably cry, because it was the last trip we did. There’s a couple – I’ll show you.
Carmen: Sure. When I sit and look at the list, just that I compiled off of doing a little research of all the things you’ve accomplished, for you to look back, and out of all of that, look back at the community surrounding you and the family, and that be the greatest.
Carolyn: I would think that, as well. And also, because I’m not traditional education, as well, I took that training, and became an entrepreneur. But a lot of that was based on how my mentor, Bob Maidment, who guided me through that process, taught me how to do contracts, and how to write proposals, and so that’s a direct connection with William and Mary.
Carmen: Yeah, and it sounds like, just throughout this conversation, you’ve shown so many connections to different individuals, too, or people you know who knew someone else that –
Carolyn: That’s right.
Carmen: had all these – speaks of the power of that community and that network. Amazing. So, in terms of my questions about William and Mary and your career trajectory, I mean, I’ve asked my questions concerning those, and I am going to open up to you in just a little bit to add anything else that you have.
0:57:10.7 But I – you mentioned earlier, and I want to talk a little more about your time, kind of advising or serving on the School of Education Board, and since you did take a non-traditional route, I wonder how, just what that experience was like for you, and what you were able to bring in because of your perspective and your different backgrounds, career trajectory, how you brought that into that Development Board?
Carolyn: Oh, I loved that Development Board. Loved every minute of it. And Jenny and the people who were on the board. And I think I was successful in getting them to look just beyond traditional education. And I remember saying to Jenny one time, “We’re going to keep getting what we’re getting if we keep doing what we’re doing.” So, if you want a different outcome, the thought process has to be different.
0:58:00.5 And so, I think pushing them to get to see, expanding education beyond the traditional route, as well. And seeing corporate education, seeing all kinds of ways to do that, as well. And I’ve got a good friend there now. I think she’s in the School of Business. Dr. Granger?
Carolyn: And now, take it to the – take it to the school. Take it to Bill, as well, because one thing about William and Mary, this whole heritage and tradition, a lot of times that just means locked to me. That just means crippling, to me. To me, it means you’re going to keep doing the same thing. And so, they became kind of open to that.
There’s Freddy the groundhog. He’s looking for me to feed him. See him?
Carmen: Is he a regular?
Carolyn: Yeah, he’s a regular. He comes up looking for a piece of apple, or something.
R; Oh, goodness. So, are you still involved with William and Mary? Or do you ever return to William and Mary, and if you still are involved, what ways?
Carolyn: Yeah, we come back for different activities and programs. And I haven’t been to Charlotte Day in quite a while, participate with that, on the Development Board. But yeah, we’re down. And I took two kids, two students to look at William and Mary for school, last Spring. One chose Christopher Newport, the other one’s going to Hampton – I just take them down and show them as well. But yes. To answer your question, yes.
Carmen: So, when you return, or even having a daughter who attended, what changes have you seen over time, the most significant, maybe that stand out to you?
Carolyn: I am – I could be a lot – I’m pleased, but I could be a lot more pleased with experiential education and - with experiential education – I’m coming – I think that could be a lot more broad. And the curriculum. I’ve seen expansions in the curriculum I really, really like. I sense – I love what the community base, the historical projects, like the ringing of the bell and all that. We participated in all of that, too, as well. So, I’m happy to see that. So much of how William and Mary came about was built on the backs of African Americans, and Williamsburg, period.
Wes’s wife, Elaine Wilson was the first African American interpreter for Colonial Williamsburg. It’s a heck of a story, too, as well.
Carolyn: You might want to file that away.
Carmen: Yeah – all the names you’re given me, or the things you’ve given me. I have them right here, and I’m going to be referring back for sure.
Carolyn: Yeah, I’ve seen it – you know the buildings, of course, and all of that, but just more outreach. I’m pleased with that.
Carmen: Is there a change, or several changes that you hope to see in the coming years?
Carolyn: Yes. I would love to see more youth development, very intentional targeted youth leadership development programs. And building community and leadership, directly tied to like starting the STEM directly into the community as early as 5, 6, 7 and 8 years old. You can’t start recruiting somebody in the 11th and 12th grade. NASA already has them at 3rd, 4th –
Carolyn: I would love to see a lot more targeted youth development.
1:02:02.0 William and Mary can do it. They can definitely do it. That’s what I would love to see.
Carmen: Yeah. Yeah, that sounds great. It seems like we’re in the right location, the right space, that we’ve got the professionals to do that.
Carolyn: Exactly, you’ve got it. And to make it – I would like to see mentoring and community outreach and youth development as a condition of work for the professors. Their greatest publications are their students. It’s how you touch people. I know research and all that, for tenure and all that. I understand that, but there has to be a way to – all that talent, all that knowledge, to get connected to youth much earlier.
Carmen: Yeah. And honestly, probably should result in an expansion of what would be qualifying as tenure.
Carolyn: Exactly. Exactly. A requirement. I know where my daughter works, those teachers are required to community development, community service.
1:03:01.5 But I’m not so sure William and Mary is. There’s still a little bit too much depressive elitism – that’s my word for it – a little bit too much. Now, Christopher Newport has done it. Their community building is unbelievable. Their whole gift of service is fabulous.
Carmen: Sure. So, there’s a neighbor right down the road to look to.
Carolyn: Exactly. You’ve got the model. They’ve got the model right down the road.
Carmen: That’s great.
Carolyn: I’m excited about the new president. Very excited. Very, very excited. I wanted Jenny McLaughlin to be the president when she competed. She’s more than ready. More than ready.
Carmen: It does seem like an exciting – well definitely is an exciting time. Every 325 years they have a female president.
Carolyn: It was William and Mary’s – didn’t Mary have a nice kingdom? Let’s get history aligned.
Carmen: Absolutely. So, just one more from me, and then I want to open it up to you. As you know, we’re in the midst of celebrating these two anniversaries, 50 years of African Americans in residence and 100 years of co-education, meaning 100 years of women as students at William and Mary. So, I’m hoping you’ll take a moment to reflect on just the power and importance of diversity and inclusion and women and spaces like William and Mary, and also just more broadly in the world.
Carolyn: I could go on forever. And that covers so much of the work that I do, too, as well. It’s beyond time. It’s beyond time. When you look at the capacity of women and the history of what we’re able to do and accomplish, even from making hamburger 50 ways, I mean it’s the height of creativity.
1:05:06.5 It’s time. It’s simply, it’s beyond time. It’s beyond time. And just applaud William and Mary there making those efforts, taking those efforts as well. It’s historically correcting, historically correcting. So much of what’s historical makes us hysterical, and it’s time to kind of move to what I call reckoning and redemption, and that’s kind of where we are.
Carmen: Do you feel that William and Mary is on the path to reckoning?
Carolyn: Oh, way overdue, but on the path. I was raised to with a – my parents would play this spiritual every day, we would have to sing it. “He’s an on-time God. He may not come when you want him, but he’s right on time.” And so, it’s right on time. He’s an on-time God. He comes - He may not come when you want him, but on time.
Carmen: I love that. That’s great. Well, thank you for reflecting on that for a moment, and I want to at this moment open it up to you. Anything you thought I would ask that I haven’t, or that you would like to bring up at this point? The stage is yours.
Carolyn: No. This has been delightful, really.
Carmen: Delightful for me. Thank you, for allowing me into your home.
Carolyn: I would like to invite you to talk to my daughter, on perspective, some decades later, and her experience though, because she went through the same Masters program I went through, as well, and she’s been – she’s had a pretty good – she does what she wants to do. She’s still – she enjoys it. And she might be a good person to talk to, so I’ll give you her information, too, as well.
Carmen: That’d be great.
Carolyn: No, I think you touched on everything pretty much. I’ve enjoyed it.
Carmen: Well, thank you again so much, and it was wonderful.
Carolyn: Okay, good.
[End of recording]
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