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Originally posted May 2019 and updated May 2023

The Story of Us: Documenting and Preserving LGBTQIA Carolina History

As Carolina Pride Alum Network (CPAN) members, we are deeply committed to amplifying the voices of LGBTQIA experiences, and we have a unique opportunity now to tell our story and document our legacy at Carolina. CPAN is leading “The Story of Us,” a ground-breaking collaboration with Wilson Library, the Southern Oral History Program and the Department of Communication committed to preserving —and sharing — our voices. The project will include a permanent collection in Wilson Library, giving a broader and richer understanding of our history, not only to the LGBTQIA community but to the Carolina community as a whole.

The Story of Us will be coordinated in three project phases:

  1. University Archives will document the history of LGBTQIA life at Carolina, bringing together existing materials — including manuscripts, archives, photographs, recordings, websites and digital files (total support of $30,000)
  2. The Southern Oral History Program will collect oral histories of students, faculty and staff. (total support of $31,000)
  3. The Department of Communication will develop a performance, based on materials gathered in Phase I and II, to be staged in Memorial Hall. (total support is$31,000)


History Told, Voices Heard

$30,000 Match Challenge- We need you!

The total cost of “The Story of Us” is $92,000, which we aim to raise in two years. The great news is a San Francisco alumna and her wife have made a $30,000 challenge to our membership.  They will match dollar-for-dollar up to $30,000 raised.

Chanel Chambers ’08 (M.B.A.)  is a Durham resident, and chair of the “Story of Us” project at CPAN. “I am excited to support ‘The Story of Us’ because it represents our legacy,” said Chanel. “LGBTQIA people have been a part of the fabric of this university for decades, if not centuries. Now is the time to recognize those experiences and honor that history.”

Join Chanel in helping us tell “The Story of Us.” Your support will fill in the historical gaps that represent the true richness and diversity of LGBTQIA life at Carolina.

The Story of Us Performance

May 2023 update 

The premiere performance of The Story of Us took place April 15th, 2023. Written and directed by Joseph Megel, artist-in-residence and teaching professor in the Department of Communication, as a part of his Process Series. Megel expertly wove together LGBTQIA+ stories collected by the Southern Oral History Program and University Archives to create an illuminating and moving performance.

The UNC alumni whose stories were touched upon in this performance include: E. Patrick Johnson, Janora McDuffie, Cecil Wooten, Tony Kearney, Sara Isaacson, Henry Clayton Jackson, Terri Phoenix, Larry Alford, Ken Sherrill, Robert Reid-Pharr, Jeremy Crouthamel, Cedric Brown, Elliott Kozuch, Mark Kleinschmidt, Dick Allen, Katie Hultquist, Joseph Herzenberg, Tom Carr, Amanda Maris, Maia Bar Am, P. Allen Gray Jr., Emmy Johnson, Michael Lau, Will Thomason, Blake Huffman, Christina Fisher and Sherri Zann Rosenthal.

A handful of these distinguished alums also agreed to take part in the performance and depicted their own stories. The cast included: David Adamson*, Vivienne Benesch*, Cedric Brown, Andrew Carlberg, Thurston Cherry*, Chris Chiron, Elisabeth Lewis Corley*, Steven Dobbins, E. Patrick Johnson, Thomas King (TeKay), Philip McAdoo*, Janora McDuffie*, Naveed Moeed, Sam Peterson, Eric Rosen*, David Terry, Max Von Essen*, Donna Wood and Leah Woehr.

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

To explore the stories chronicled in The Story of Us performance visit Queerolina: Experiences of Place and Space Through Oral Histories. This digital exhibit was created by Hooper Schultz and Cassie Tanks and is hosted and maintained by UNC-CH University Libraries.

Post performance, The Story of Us and Queerolina continue to grow as alums share their stories. To learn more, contact the University Archives at or complete an online oral history interest form.

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