Wyatt Exploration Program
Each year, the Wyatt Exploration Program will provide a unique and exciting opportunity for students and faculty to join together in the intellectual exploration of the human past. Organized by the Department of History with financial support from the Wyatt Endowment, the program focuses on the history and culture of a specific place or on a particular historical topic. This theme will change on an annual basis, allowing our explorations to span the history of our country and the world beyond. The department’s Wyatt Fellow, a faculty member who is an expert in the field under exploration, will plan and organize the Program. Featuring affiliated course offerings, special extra-curricular events on campus, and a competition to participate in a university-funded student travel expedition, the Wyatt Exploration Program will enrich and deepen our understanding of the world and its history.
The Department of History is thrilled with this unique opportunity for learning and enrichment that the Wyatt Exploration Program will provide at the University of Michigan-Flint. The department’s faculty looks forward to sharing these incredible experiences with our students and hopes that all of you will share in our excitement as we explore the history of the world around us.
Wyatt Travel Expedition
The culmination of each year's exploration will take place in either the spring or summer semester with a student travel expedition led by our Wyatt Fellow. Selected from our history majors (including TCP and Honors), a group of students will be invited by the History Department to participate in this trip. Most student travel expenses will be fully funded by the Department of History. Selection will be based on several factors, including the student’s academic record and coursework in the field under study. However, the primary factor to be considered will be active participation in that year's on campus Wyatt Exploration events. You don't need to have the highest GPA or to have taken courses in the subject under exploration to be selected. Rather, we are looking to assemble a diverse team of students who have demonstrated their enthusiasm and engagement with the on-campus exploration activities, who are most likely to benefit from the travel experience and who will work together most effectively as a group. Every history major is truly a potential candidate for selection and we encourage all of our students to participate and apply. Students will complete and submit an application form to be considered for the selection process in winter semester.
A central part of the Wyatt Exploration Program is our guest lecture series. During the course of the fall and winter semesters, the program will bring celebrated scholars from around the nation and world to our campus to speak on that year's theme. This is a great opportunity to meet and learn from acknowledged experts in their field while developing a sense of history as an intellectual community, endeavor, and discipline. For history majors, participation in the guest lecture series is expected of all potential candidates for the travel expedition. Although we understand that students may not be able to attend all of these sessions, please try to attend as many of these events as possible to maximize your potential as a travel expedition participant.
Coursework and Extra-Curricular Activities
A list of affiliated courses will match the subject of exploration for that year. Although primarily history courses, this list may also include courses in other disciplines that complement the theme. Students will have the opportunity to take some of these courses during the academic year. If students have already taken any of these courses in previous years, this will also be recognized in the selection process for the Wyatt Travel Expedition. The exploration program provides a wonderful opportunity for additional depth of instruction and experience for those students who are taking or have taken one or more of these courses. However, history majors are still viable candidates for the travel expedition even if they have not taken any of these affiliated courses and they are encouraged to participate in other on-campus exploration activities instead. In addition to the guest lecture series and formal coursework, the Wyatt Fellow may organize co-curricular activities and discussion sessions devoted to the year’s theme. All students are invited to these activities and participation will be considered in the selection process for the travel expedition.
Wyatt Exploration Passports
To chart student participation in Wyatt events, history majors will receive a Wyatt Exploration Program Passport. Bring this passport to any Wyatt Exploration Program event or activity, and you will receive a stamp that verifies your attendance. Students will then submit this passport along with their travel application, and the number of stamps they have collected will be considered in the selection process for the travel expedition. Be sure to retrieve your passport each year from the History Department after the competition is over, as you can continue to use it for the following year. Stamps collected in previous years will be considered in the travel expedition selection process. So, start collecting stamps!
The generous bequest of Dr. Dorothea E. Wyatt has made the Wyatt Exploration Program possible. A stalwart supporter of her university and her discipline, Dr. Wyatt made this extraordinary gift to further develop and improve the program in history here at UM-Flint.
A graduate of Stanford University, Dr. Wyatt was one of the original sixteen faculty members of the Flint College of the University of Michigan when it was founded in 1956. She was the first chair of the Department of History and she served as the University's Counselor to Women, the Secretary to the Governing Faculty, and on countless university, college, and departmental committees throughout her career. An adored teacher, Dr. Wyatt specialized in American cultural and women’s history. She was an unflagging advocate for the humanities and women’s issues. In 1989, the UM-Flint recognized her dedication to the university and these issues by creating an award in her name for faculty and staff members who work to better the status of women on campus. In 1974, Dr. David M. French spoke of Dr. Wyatt’s uniquely personal contribution to the university, writing, “Her greatness of spirit, her generosity, her sincere interest in students young and old… and the uninhibited way she has always shared her joy in learning and scholarship with those around her have run like a golden thread through the eighteen years since the Flint college was founded.” As a scholar, Dr. Wyatt is primarily known for her biography of Julia S. Tutwiler (1841-1916), an early advocate for women’s rights and educational reform in Alabama.
Dr. Wyatt was active in the local community and served a variety of organizations, including the American Association of University Women, the Zonta Club, Delta Kappa Gamma, and the Genesee County Library Board. She retired as a Professor Emeritus in 1975. Shortly before her retirement, Dr. Wyatt wrote:
What has brought us together as students and faculty in our University of Michigan- Flint College has been an abiding faith in education. We have all been seekers after knowledge: of ourselves, of the world about us, and of the ideas and ideals that have stirred and enriched mankind… For the true object of a college education is not to learn all that one will ever want to know but to acquire the ideas, habits, and methods needed in the continuous process of educating oneself during the years to come.
The Department of History at the University of Michigan-Flint is proud to be the heir of that spirit and philosophy. We believe that the Wyatt Exploration Program and other opportunities provided by Dr. Wyatt’s generosity will be a fitting testament to the life of this fine teacher, scholar, and advocate.