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Loy H. Witherspoon. [2], 1991

Identifier: GF-WI0034

Scope and Contents

In this 1991 interview, student Michael Wilson interviewed Dr. Loy Witherspoon about his life experiences in the North Carolina Piedmont. Dr. Witherspoon describes his unusual childhood, the latter part of which was spent at The Children's Home, a Methodist orphanage on the edge of Winston-Salem. He relates in detail the daily activities he engaged in at the home, which included chores on the orphanage farm, food preservation and preparation, and sports and recreation, in addition to attending school at the Children's Home and at R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem. In particular Dr. Witherspoon stresses the influence of his high school Latin teacher, Margaret McDermott, who continued to be an inspiration for his own teaching in later life. Realizing at an early age that his vocation was to be a Methodist minister and a teacher, Dr. Witherspoon describes his education at Duke University where he earned a BA and a BD, and Boston University where he earned a PhD. In response to questions about civil rights, Dr. Witherspoon recalls student activism on the UNC Charlotte campus, and in particular the activities of student Ben Chavis. Dr. Witherspoon concludes by urging students to interact with the city of Charlotte, to take advantage of the cultural activities offered, and also to give back to the city, recalling the Athenian oath instructing citizens to leave the city more beautiful and enriched than they had found it.


  • Creation: 1991

Conditions Governing Access

34 of the 392 interviews are available in the digital repository. Original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use.

Biographical Note

Loy Witherspoon was a 61-year-old man at the time of interview. He was born in Catawba, North Carolina in 1930. He graduated from Duke University with a BA and a BD degree, and from Boston University with a PhD in the New Testament. He was employed with UNC Charlotte from 1964 to 1994, where he led the Department of Philosophy and Religion, then established and chaired the Department of Religious Studies when it split off from philosophy beginning in 1972.


48 Minutes

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the Oral Histories, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

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Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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