NCC Professor to Hold Public Lecture
Dr. Mary Wayne Watson, Professor of Humanities at Nash Community College (NCC), will offer the first in a summer series of scholarly lectures at 1:30 p.m. on June 10, 2013. The public is invited to attend free of charge. Watson’s subject will be “Gerald White Johnson: North Carolina’s Pioneering Journalist and Noted Historian.” The presentation will be held as part of NCC History Professor Dr. Jay Peacock’s cultural studies class in Room 2101, Building B, on the NCC campus.
Gerald White Johnson (1890-1980), born in Riverton (near Wagram in Scotland County, NC), was a giant among American scholars, friend and colleague of famous author H.L. Mencken of the Baltimore Evening Sun, speech writer and adviser to United States presidents, first professor of Journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill, and one of John Charles McNeill’s “sunburnt boys.” Johnson referred to Riverton as a “state of mind which all those born there possess and are possessed by.” Johnson stated that the “quiet waters [of the Lumbee River] are the place where once I looked upon life and found it golden.”
This presentation by Johnson’s cousin, co-owner of the Johnson birth site, focuses on how his life and works were influenced by his Riverton roots.
Dr. Watson, a North Carolina Humanities Council “Road Scholar,” currently teaches English composition, literature-based research, film, and British and American literature at Nash Community College. Now a Knightdale resident, she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from UNC at Chapel Hill, and her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.