Recap of “An Evening with Through the Banks of the Red Cedar”

25 09 2015

Critical Conversation Flyer top

 Guests, including Lorenzo White (Spartan running back, 1984-87), examining football collections at the MSU Archives

Guests, including Lorenzo White (Spartan running back, 1984-87), examining football collections at the MSU Archives

The “Evening with Through the Banks of the Red Cedar” event, co-hosted by MSU Archives and MSU Retirees Association,

on Thursday September 10th was a huge success. Approximately 250 guests had the opportunity to mingle with Spartan football greats such as Gene Washington and Clinton Jones. The evening started at 6:00 pm with refreshments in the lobby of Conrad Hall and an open house of the MSU Archives. Archivists were on hand to answer questions about MSU’s rich history. MSU athletics collections were featured, such as a football poster from the 1910s, Rose Bowl programs and memorabilia from the 1950s, and photographs and programs from nearly every sport played at MSU.

At 7:00 pm guests gathered in the Conrad Auditorium for the program, which featured sports radio broadcaster and author Jack Ebling as moderator. Cynthia Ghering, Director of the University Archives, gave a short presentation about the importance of the University Archives and our efforts to preserve and digitize MSU’s athletics history (https://msuarchives.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/msu-film-and-video-preservation-fund/). Jack Ebling sat down with documentary film maker Maya Washington to discuss her upcoming film “Through the Banks of the Red Cedar.”

Jack Ebling discusses the documentary with Maya Washington

Jack Ebling discusses the documentary with Maya Washington

The film “follows the 50 year legacy of the filmmaker’s father, legendary Vikings wide-receiver Gene Washington (College Football Hall of Fame, Big Ten Ford-Kinnick Leadership Award, Michigan State Athletics Hall of Fame, 50 Greatest Vikings Honoree) from the segregated South to MSU alongside highly decorated teammates Bubba Smith (Defensive Lineman), George Webster (Rover Back) and Clinton Jones (Running Back) as they become members of the first fully integrated football team in America, later making history as first round picks in the 1967 Draft” (http://www.throughthebanksoftheredcedar.com/). Maya Washington showed the trailer for the film, which was enthusiastically received by the audience.

Ebling was then joined by Gene Washington and Clinton Jones who discussed how they were recruited by MSU football coach Duffy Daugherty in the 1960s and why they believed their team was important. They then asked several other former team members to join them on the panel, including Don Weatherspoon and Sterling Armstrong. For the remainder of the evening they regaled the audience with stories of camaraderie on and off the field.  It was a wonderfully entertaining evening.  Many thanks to all who made it possible!

Jack Ebling, Gene Washington, and Clinton Jones

Jack Ebling, Gene Washington, and Clinton Jones

Video of the program is available on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsyjA77H8_Y.

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