BC student tour sites

Published 4:09 pm Wednesday, May 4, 2011

BAINBRIDGE COLLEGE STUDENTS are seen here with a faculty chaperone at the entrance to the Martin Luther King Historical Site in Atlanta. From the left, front, are Sondra Brady, Ana Crum, Leticia Acosta and Allie Kinnon; middle, Jerome Smart, Natalie Redding, Carol Register, Julia Rogers, Elizabeth Cowart and Lea Moore; back, faculty member Michael Stewart, and students, William Lane and Walter Eldred.

Twelve Bainbridge College students gained first-hand experience at three important historical sites in Atlanta April 15-16 during a field trip sponsored by the college’s Social Science Club and the Political Guild.

The trip left one student with a new perspective of her own rose garden.

Participants included Bainbridge residents Leticia Acosta, Sondra Brady, Ana Crum, Walter Eldred, William Lane, Natalie Redding, Carol Register and Julia Rogers; Jerome Smart of Climax; Elizabeth Cowart of Donalsonville, and Grady County residents Allie Kinnon of Whigham and Lea Moore of Calvary.

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Although all the students agreed that the field trip was enjoyable and informative, especially the tour of Cable News Network (CNN), some found that the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Site left the deepest impression.

“I think some of the students got more out of the Martin Luther King Center than they had expected,” said faculty chaperone Michael Stewart, who is assistant professor of sociology and earned his doctorate in sociology from Florida State University.

“The center is a wonderful mix of social history, personal biography and the change that one person can affect,” he said. “After viewing the rose garden planted by Coretta Scott King to commemorate her late husband, student Lea Moore said to me that she would never look at her rose garden the same way again.”

The group started their Atlanta adventure at CNN’s international headquarters, where they rode the world’s longest free-standing escalator to the eighth floor for a behind-the-scenes guided tour of how news is gathered, prepared and disseminated in this age of instant media.

The next day they visited the King Historical Site, toured the museum, Dr. King’s birth home, a turn-of-the-century fire station, and finally the tomb of the Nobel Prize-winning civil rights leader. The site sits in the shadow of Ebenezer Baptist Church where the Rev. Dr. King and his father preached several years.

The trip culminated with a tour of the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum Located in Grant Park, the Cyclorama is home to the world’s largest painting, a 360-degree panoramic portrayal of the Battle of Atlanta during the last stages of the U.S. Civil War. An elaborate diorama in the foreground of the painting, constructed during the Great Depression by workers of the Works Projects Administration (known as the WPA), creates a three-dimensional effect for viewing.

Funding for the trip was provided by the students themselves, club fees and additional student activities funds appropriated by the Bainbridge College Student Government Association.

In addition to Dr. Stewart, the students were accompanied by Associate Professor of Political Science John Vanzo, who earned his doctorate in political science from Florida State, and who organized the trip.