As Vaiden Whitley High School was founded in 1966, this represents the first collection of yearbooks from VWHS, and allows us to see what its first students thought of the new high school. The 1966 Shield, a result of Wake County schools consolidating for integration purposes, made sure to note the importance of a wholesome school environment and supporting all students. These yearbooks include individual portraits, class portraits, photos of student clubs and lists of individual accomplishments, and more. Sports team accomplishments were also highlighted. For example, the 1968 Warriors team (right) defeated every team in their conference at least once to finish the season 17-9.
These yearbooks provide a valuable window into what school life was like in Wake County at the time. To see more from the Wendell Historical Society, click here to view their partner page, or visit their website.
New yearbooks from the Wendell Historical Society have been added to DigitalNC. The 17 yearbooks are from Wendell High School, located in Wake County, NC, and they date from 1943 to 1965. Called “Echoes,” the yearbooks include portraits of students from first grade through senior year and feature candid shots and group shots of clubs and teams. You can view more Wendell High School yearbooks here.
Nine additional yearbooks from Wendell High School have been added to DigitalNC. Titled “Echoes,” the yearbooks were contributed by the Wendell Historical Society. The Historical Society received many of these donations to their collection after a recent Raleigh News & Observer described their efforts at filling in gaps in their collection. (As of the date of this post, the society is still looking for 1934, 1935, 1938, and 1946.)
These yearbooks include formal student portraits, portraits of administrators and faculty, and group pictures of clubs, sports, and societies. The mottoes are also a great insight into the students, with various versions of the North Carolina state motto, “esse quam videri” — to be rather than to seem, and funny quotes like “If at first you don’t succeed, stop,” “A hot dog a day keeps the hunger away,” “Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow,” and “Don’t get caught.”
Vaiden Whitley, now East Wake High School, is located in Wendell, N.C. in Wake County. These yearbooks show the school back in 1971-1973, also known as some of the most fashionable years for both yearbooks and student basketball uniforms.
While these games may not have been quite as exciting as some of the ones in this year’s NCAA tournament, they do illustrate North Carolinian’s longstanding cultural obsession with the sport. In 1971, the Vaiden Whitley men’s team only came out on top in 8/19 games—not quite as good as the women’s team, which won 7/13. Still, the coaches called it a “profitable season.”
Thanks to our partner, the Wendell Historical Society, several yearbooks from high schools in Wendell, North Carolina are now available on our website. This batch includes the 1969 and 1970 issues of the Vaiden Whitley High School yearbook.
The cover of the 1969 issue of the Vaiden Whitley High School yearbook.
For more information about the Wendell Historical Society, please visit their website.
This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features the latest news and highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from organizations across North Carolina.