ECSU–Christos Stravoravdis

Christos Stravoravdis
Eastern Connecticut State University
Project Site:

 Mission statement (describe project)

A) Describe the overall goal of your project and the intended audience

  • The goal for my overall project is to focus on the history of Eastern Connecticut State University and its culture during the era of the Great War. The project will be based around the issues that were beginning to affect the surrounding town.   Willimantic was competing with the surrounding towns to get the rights to build a normal school. Norwich and Willimantic were vying for the oppurtunity have the normal school built. The town and the school would continue to face pressure from surrounding areas when normal schools around the state began to change and become universities and colleges. Willimantic normal school was having difficulty with the shift. It was an all-female school so I would like to incorporate some connection to the structure of a lesson plan. I have found a few lesson plan outlines and instructions from 1917-1918 which encourage teachers and schools around Connecticut to give students military training to prepare them during the war. The fear was that the US was allowing its youth to become weak compared to other nations. I understand that it may not be specifically ECSU related but teachers attending the normal school would have been trained using these pamphlets and materials sent over by the Connecticut Board of Education. I would like to find some lesson plans from the time period and see if I can post them to a section of my webpage. The documents can be found in the Eastern Connecticut State archives. They include pamphlets and instructions ordered by the Connecticut State board of Education that push teachers to give military training to their students. These Connecticut lesson plans were  distributed to teachers throughout the state, and would no doubt have been used in the school’s curriculum. The United States during the Great War was known for its fervent nationalistic tendencies. Teachers were expected to teach their students to be proper patriots; I intend to include elements of this in my project. Eastern Connecticut State, the city of Windham and its people owe a great deal to the textile mill. Even though this site’s primary focus is on the school the mill is significant enough to the history of the town and its people it has to have a place in this site.  I would like to incorporate this by showing a page that includes the development of the textile mill alongside the development of the school. Willimantic had a very prominent silk industry between 1900-1940 which the war would have been a contributing factor in its initial rise. A section of The churches were not very connected with the school at the time. The churches were run by different ethnicities and while they did feud with one another they did not have any great involvement with the school, only each other. The only reason why Willimantic was given the green light to build the normal school that would eventually become ECSU was because the original owner of the textile mill provided the funding. I would like to have a page discussing the contributions made to ECSU over the years by the textile mill.  The source I have been using for the section on the textile mill is a book written by Thomas R. Beardsley entitled Willimantic Industry and Community: The Rise and Decline of a Connecticut Textile City. The book also describes the nationalistic and xenophobic attitudes of the towns people at that time.

  •         The intended audience of this project is teachers and the people of Willimantic. Even though Eastern Connecticut State has grown substantially and become a school with a variety of majors it is still one of the finest teaching schools in New England. I want my website to nod to this history and focus on the way Eastern has evolved in its methods of teaching. I would like to incorporate a page of statistics on the gender, attendance, variety in major and how this developed over time. Even though i’ve had trouble with the University archive finding material, it is very likely that this information would be in the Bursar’s office or through another branch of the university.


B) Describe the basic structure of your site and intended features.

        With the materials I have now I believe that a very good section would be a list of the students who attended the school during the Great War. One of the only primary documents of the time that still exists is a list of students which attended the school during this time period. I would like to see if any of these names comes up in the local newspapers as having a significant part in the school’s history, so far I have come up empty. If I find anyone significant I would like to have a special section dedicated to them individuals. I would like to incorporate a way for the surrounding town to contribute and allow the site to grow after I have completed it. If the list is made available, people could recognize names and add stories over time. This would have to be administrated and managed for the sake of validity. The University means a great deal to me, I intend to continue managing the site. Even though I will be finishing my time at Eastern I would like to continue to contribute and having a connection to the project.  Along with this I would also like to incorporate the COPLAC logo at the top of the page as a way to link to the original page.

A section will be included describing the difficulty I had while finding sources and the problems I’ve faced while looking for viable information. This section would be an about section.  It will also include a description as to why the school has such limited resources on this topic during this time period. One page which will be included in this website is a section on WWI lesson plans, specifically those pushing the nationalistic, militaristic and xenophobic fervor of the war. Another page will discuss the relationship the school had with the Textile Mill. One page will describe the attitudes the people of the town had with foreigners moving into the area. I will also add a section describing Eastern’s development from a small normal school into a school with a variety of majors and minors. This page would serve as an epilogue tying the school’s past to today. A section will be included discussing ECSU’s difficulty when becoming a full fledged university in WWI. Citation will be addressed using footnotes on the bottom of each page. Along with the footnotes I will also have a bibliography page listing all materials used over the course of designing this website.

C) Tools you plan to use

  • The website I will be using to construct this is WordPress. The theme I would like to use for my site would be the Camp theme. I feel it is clear, easy to navigate and it has a book and archival feel to it that would work well with my site. I will be using a timeline and a map to point out significant events in the history of the school. The map tool will be utilized to point out the various locations the events took place in. The timeline I will be using is, the map I will be using will be from Spreadsheet Mapper I will not be using visual images


D) Schedule of milestones (when critical pieces are ready to present)

  •        February 28, 2014: Begin plugging in dates for the timeline

  •         March 7, 2014: Send photos to Jack

  • March 14, 2014 Send timeline information to Leah

  •         March 20, 2014: Finish Map and Timeline

  • March 22, 2014: Finish section on the Windham Textile Mill

  •         March 26, 2014 Complete list of students who attended Eastern

  • March 27, 2014: Complete section on education plans

  • April 3, 2014: Complete basic structure of project

  •         April 27, 2014: Complete Project

  •         April 29, 2014: Presentation

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