Merwin Edsel Foard oral history interview 1, 2014 February 4
In this first of two interviews, Merwin Edsel Foard, Charlotte native and graduate of Charlotte College, reflects on his life history and his conviction of divine providence throughout his life. He recounts the Foard family’s deep rooted connection to the Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, area, including the circumstances surrounding their emigration from Ireland during the colonial era. He tells of his grandparents, of his mother’s strength, and of his father’s service in World War I and time spent working construction at the nuclear facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, during World War II. Mr. Foard recalls growing up in Charlotte, his school days at Harding High School, and his early employment as a boy and a young man. He also shares about a particularly influential teacher who encouraged him to meet with Charlotte College Director Bonnie Cone and to continue his education at the college, and about the local banking industry in the 1950s. Other topics include his impressions of segregation, his singing at the local African American Carver College’s graduation ceremony, his involvement in garnering support for Charlotte College to become the fourth campus of the University of North Carolina System, and his recollections of various men on the Board of Trustees for Charlotte College.
Biographical / Historical
Merwin Edsel Foard was an 83-year-old man at the time of interview, which took place in the J. Murrey Atkins Library at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1931. He was educated at Harding High School and Charlotte College in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was employed in numerous positions with American Trust Company, Southern Bell, South Central Bell, BellSouth, and AT&T in Charlotte, Atlanta, Georgia, and Birmingham, Alabama.