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Special ETSU edition, documentary intensive efforts

October 8th, 2011 10:37 pm by Madison Mathews

As East Tennessee State University prepares to celebrate its centennial Monday, the Johnson City Press has created a special commemorative edition included in today’s newspaper chronicling the transformation of ETSU from a normal school to a full-fledged university.
Stories detailing the school’s 100 years of history and its lasting impact on the region can be found inside the special publication, titled “A Legacy of Impact — ETSU at 100.”
Publisher Art Powers said the Press staff is proud to have produced the project chronicling the role ETSU has played in the region during the last century.
“This project began well over a year ago in the planning stages with meeting after meeting between our staff and the administration, faculty and staff of the university,” Powers said. “We know you will enjoy the format making this a true commemorative edition and one you will surely want to hold onto for years to come.”
In addition to the keepsake edition in today’s paper, the Press has produced a three-part documentary about the creation of ETSU, featuring interviews with many notable university officials, alumni and city officials.
The 45-minute-long project was overseen by staff writer Rex Barber, who spent months coordinating content for both the special edition and the documentary.
“It took the efforts of everyone in the newsroom and at ETSU University Relations. This project would not have been a success without everyone working together. I want to thank everyone who had a hand in the special publication and the documentary,” he said.
Although Barber knew the process of creating the documentary would be complex, he said it was something he knew he could do, as he has put together many short videos and a few short documentaries for the Press.
The documentary was the most in-depth project Barber has been involved with. Barber, Press staff and university personnel spent months gathering footage, conducting interviews and combing through the university’s archives.
While it was a daunting task to edit the project it was rewarding for Barber, who has a personal connection to the university.
“ETSU has been part of my life since I enrolled there as an undergraduate in 1999. I got my degree in mass communications from there and now I cover the school for the Press. I thought I knew a lot about the school before this project but now I feel like I’m an expert on the school’s history,” Barber said.
The three-part documentary can be viewed at
To order copies of the special anniversary edition or the documentary on DVD, call 929-3111.

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