“The Essential Eastern” is coming soon to your television screen.
The documentary film that chronicles the history of Eastern Kentucky University will air 10 times on KET and KET Kentucky between March 28 and April 18.
The 86-minute film, produced and directed by EKU communication professor and “starring” many familiar faces from the University’s past and present, premiered at the EKU Center for the Arts last November. It follows the institution’s evolution from Central University in 1874 and Walters Collegiate Institute to its humble beginnings as a state normal school in 1906 and then to a state college and eventually, in 1966, a university. Through two world wars and other military conflicts, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement and integration, the film touches on the historical events and cultural and societal issues that helped shape the campus and the students, faculty and staff who have called it home.
The full broadcast schedule (all times EDT):
Monday, March 28 – 9 p.m., KET
Tuesday, March 29 – 10:30 p.m., KETKY
Wednesday, March 30 – 10:30 a.m., KETKY
Thursday, March 31 – 2:30 p.m., KETKY
Friday, April 1 – 8 p.m., KETKY
Saturday, April 2 – 3 a.m., KET; 1 p.m., KETKY
Sunday, April 10 – 3:30 a.m., KETKY
Wednesday, April 13, 10:30 a.m., KETKY
Monday, April 18, 4 p.m., KETKY
Cogdill said the film was inspired and informed by Dr. Bill Ellis’ 2005 landmark book, “A History of Eastern Kentucky University,” an “incredible, historical source that the University is lucky to have.” Trenia Napier and Leslie Valley, both staff members in EKU’s Noel Studio for Academic Creativity, wrote the script, using notes from Ellis’ book and other historical sources such as EKU Libraries, Special Collections and Archives, The Eastern Progress and Milestone. Television personality Nick Clooney served as narrator, and EKU Foundation Professor of Music Dr. Richard Crosby composed the original music score.
“The Essential Eastern” features interviews with 18 figures from the University’s past and present, including Dr. Paul Blanchard, Archivist Jackie Couture, Dr. Skip Daugherty, Dr. Ellis, Archivist Emeritus Charles Hay, current Regent Ernie House, Carl Hurley, Coach Roy Kidd, Board of Regents Chair Craig Turner, Provost Dr. Janna Vice and President Emeritus Doug Whitlock, among others.
Cogdill noted last year that Craig Cornwall, senior director for programming at KET, “was the inspiration for us to get the project started.” The film was funded by the President’s Office at EKU.
Cogdill’s colleague in the Department of Communication, Michael Randolph, was assistant producer. Ten interns helped with interview lighting, camera and audio setup at various campus locations and conducted research in Special Collections and Archives for historic papers, photographs and other items.