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Last modified: Thursday, September 22, 2005

Wiggins to direct FASE Mentoring Program on interim basis

Sept. 22, 2005

William Wiggins Jr.

Photo by: IU Home Pages


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- William H. Wiggins Jr., professor emeritus of African American and African Diaspora studies and folklore and ethnomusicology at Indiana University Bloomington, will serve as interim director of the Faculty and Staff for Student Excellence Mentoring Program, following the retirement of June Cargile, the founder and first director of the award-winning program.

The FASE program, which is housed in the Office of Academic Support and Diversity, initially was developed and funded by a grant to improve undergraduate retention from the Lilly Endowment in 1991. It was conceived as a freshman-focused mentoring program that would pair students with professors, staff members and leaders from the Bloomington community.

These mentoring pairs share academic and social interests and set out on the path toward graduation together. It's a relationship built on mutual respect and commitment to make the most of the college experience.

Wiggins, who first came to IU in 1969, will spend the year assisting in the performance review of the program and in the recruitment of a successor.

Wiggins' academic career began at Texas College in Tyler, Texas, where as an ordained minister of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, he served as director of religious life from 1965 through the summer of 1969.

His main areas of teaching and research are festivals, religious dramas, folk heroes, and folklore and literature. Wiggins' publications include O Freedom: Afro-American Emancipation Celebrations (University of Tennessee Press, 1987), Jubilation!: African American Celebrations in the Southeast, with Doug DeNatale (University of South Carolina Press, 1994), Joe Louis: American Folk Hero (Phi Delta Kappa International, 1991) and two documentary films: In the Rapture (1978) and The Rapture Family (1978). During his professional career he has been awarded major fellowships and grants by the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ford Foundation.

Wiggins retired from IU in May 2004.