The topic for my project in the University Archives is concentrated around the Lutheran Human Relations Association of America (LHRAA) and the affiliation it has with Valparaiso University during the Civil Rights Movement. Specifically, I am focusing on the process of how Valparaiso University integrated African Americans into their community once Valparaiso University became associated with the LHRAA and whether or not they are thoroughly integrated today in 2019. The LHRAA is an organization that was developed in 1953-54 at Valparaiso University, which became the official hub for the organization. Their mission and goal was to create an awareness for racial relations and social injustices. One part of my project is going through the Vanguard, which was the official newsletter for the LHRAA, and the files of Andrew Schulze and Karl Lutze, who were members of the LHRAA and professors at Valparaiso University at the time, to determine how they contributed to get a better understanding as to how Valparaiso University integrated. To understand how Valparaiso University began to integrate during the Civil Rights Movement, I have examined The Torch, documentation regarding who the first African American student was, and President O.P. Kretzmann’s writing to see whether he addressed the first African American student to the community. Another part of my project is to assist in beginning the process of digitizing the Vanguard.
As someone who is a history major, I had great interest in being associated with the Valparaiso University Archives internship. This internship gave me an opportunity to learn about myself, what kind of historian I would like to become, and to learn more about what I would like to do with my career. It has opened my eyes to a whole new world with examining different documents, the process of digitizing photographs, constructing a narrative through primary documents, research, and what it is like to work in an archival environment. One of the special things about this internship is learning more about some of the history and narrative of Valparaiso University itself and the contributions to it. This internship is truly an amazing experience and is beneficial for future historians. I am grateful to be a part of it.