The Pandemic Through Photos

In addition to diaries, we are collecting photographs of the Pandemic for our Document Your Story: COVID-19 Project. Photographs capture events, places, people, and objects in the moment and provide vital historical information just like diaries, letters, and other documents. Today our cellphones allow us to easily capture images as we travel our neighborhoods, visit stores, or walk in the park.

Below are galleries of photographs taken by SC&A archivists Lisa Rickey, Bill Stolz, and Toni Vanden Bos documenting life in the Miami Valley during the last month.

Photographs are powerful storytelling tools and help share what we are witnessing here in the Miami Valley during the Pandemic.

Be sure to take photos of what you see while you walk, shop, travel, or work and record the date and location. All of our photographs will be provide important information to the future generations that study the Pandemic.

If you are interested in donating photographs or other materials documenting your experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic, please contact the SC&A staff at or visit our project page for more information.

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Sharing Your Pandemic Story

“April 7, 2020: tonight we went outside to look at the full moon. At 10:30 we were struck more with the silence, no car traffic, no airplanes, just quiet. It was amazing to stand under the moon and stars in our neighborhood, usually bustling with noise, and not hear a thing.” -Author’s journal entry

Full moon over south Dayton, April 7, 2020

Several weeks ago we put out a call for community members to document daily life during the COVID-19 Pandemic and we are amazed by the response. The stories we have received share deeply personal thoughts and feelings, and provide observations into the changes that have taken place in all our lives over the past month. Here are a couple entries sent in by Miami Valley residents.

I, and a wave of graduating medical students, will be christened by chaos into the field of medicine. But in this moment, in relatively sleepy Dayton, Ohio, we wait and quietly prepare for the storm.Medical Student

Day 4. Wow. That’s all I can say. My emotions are ranging from sadness to fear to anger to hope. Sadness that I will not be permitted to be at the hospital when my daughter gives birth. I will not hold my grandbaby in my arms for a long time.  This weighs heavy on my heart. Fear of the virus for so many reasons. I’m susceptible, the baby, everyone.  Fear for my friends who are on the front lines. Anger that this is even happening. Anger that there are some people who refuse to do what is necessary. Sherri, Springboro, Ohio

Hopefully these passages will inspire you to continue to write, blog, film, document, and ultimately share your experiences. Continue to check back for more stories. If you have questions about the project or are interested in donating material, please email

UPDATE: We now have a Document Your Story homepage, where you can find the latest information on this project.

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Celebrating The Boonshoft School of Medicine’s 1st Graduates

Happy anniversary to the inaugural class of the Boonshoft School of Medicine, who this year are celebrating their 40th anniversary.

Wright State University School of Medicine- Class of 1980

After the establishment of the new school by the Ohio legislature in 1973, the charter class of medical students began their studies at Wright State in the fall of 1976, culminating in the conferral of 31 medical degrees at the first commencement ceremony for the School of Medicine on June 7, 1980.

Diploma for Stephen O. Bernardon, First Graduate of WSU School of Medicine

Since 1980, 2,155 M.D.’s have graduated from the program, with Wright State alumni practicing in every state in the nation. Commitment to community has become a hallmark of the school, which was honored with the prestigious Outstanding Community Service Award in 1997 by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

As the university community sits at home waiting out the COVID-19 Pandemic, we wanted to pay tribute to this important milestone in the university’s history, with hopes that the BSOM community can hold it’s 40th commencement ceremony this summer and celebrate together.

Convocation- School of Medicine Inaugural Class- September 14, 1976

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