Many dignitaries have spoken at UCLA — British royalty, Ethiopian leaders, Muhammad Ali, Jane Fonda, Joan Rivers. Until now, many of those speeches were only been accessible to people who could come to the campus.
Nearly $13,000 in alumni donations have made it possible for recent UCLA grad Derek Bolin to salvage and digitize more than of those 300 speeches given since the 1950s. Some of them were in better condition than others.
"It was really great listening to some of these old tapes and listening to the 60s sort of happen on audio," said Bolin, who recently graduated with his bachelor's in mass communications. "From the 60s to the end, you can sort of see this change among the students that were listening. In the beginning of the 60s, they were very respectful and quiet and clapped when appropriate, by the end of the early 70s they were a bit more rambunctious."
One of his favorite moments was when George Wallace came to speak in favor of segregation. At the end of the speech there was some applause and then students began singing "We Shall Overcome."