Many colleges and universities offer first-year experience programs similar to The University of Alabama’s Camp 1831. These programs help new students in their transition to their selected institution with events, tours, and other activities. They often hold group sessions with programs that build friendships and give these new learners a chance to meet upperclassmen in peer-to-peer interactions. They also introduce students to the physical campus, showing them class locations, dining halls, and support service buildings.
Part of Camp 1831’s program brings students to its historic spaces and introduces them to its past. These include Dr. Hilary Green’s Hallowed Grounds tour tracing the University’s histories related to race, enslavement, and progress, the Paul W. Bryant Museum with audiovisuals and memorabilia tracing the long history of UA football and athletics, and the Alabama Museum of Natural History with exhibits and objects related to the natural sciences and the state’s biodiversity.
The Gorgas House Museum is fortunate to participate in this program and introduce students to the University’s history, the lives of the Gorgas family, and the artifacts, exhibits, and stories associated with the home. This week, Camp 1831 students toured the home, interacted with hands-on stations, and learned about ways to get involved. This includes becoming a tour guide, helping with research, hosting events, or any number of student-led creative ventures. We welcome these students to campus and congratulate them on joining the UA family.
– Written by Brandon Thompson, Director of the Gorgas House Museum