Reenactment Links Past and Present
The large white tent near the center of campus drew an interested crowd of students and staff. Beyond the program’s name – "Doane Past and Present”– not much was known about the outdoor performance.
Rumors had been circulating about President Carter riding on horseback, but why? And what did that have to do with inauguration?
“It was a fun way to link our past with our future,” said President Carter.
And fun it was. Laughter often marked the 1800s reenactment, where three Doane students “traveled” back in time to understand the meaning of the Doane hymn and it’s relevancy to today.
President Carter played Perry and recounted the college’s founding alongside Thomas Doane – aka Professor Tom King. King, who often portrays General Ulysses S. Grant, was at home on stage adlibbing and playing to the audience.
Through readings from journals, the reenactment demonstrated the parallels between students then and students now. LIVE Doane - the acronym for Doane's mission statement - was in fact fitting. Leadership, inquiry, values and engagement were a part of campus from its early years.
President Perry's closing words were poignant: "No, no, don't thank me. Doane was not built by one man. It was all who had a vision to build a college. And the students who helped to build its culture. All of us own Doane's mission and are responsible for its future."
Actors and audience alike sang the “Doane College Alma Mater” to mark the closing of the performance.
The horse watched from the hitching post, where President Perry used to tie his so long ago. President Carter exited the event again on horseback - a smooth ending to weeks of riding lessons and one sore foot with a slight hoof print.