Academic Offerings Apply Now

Motlow State Community College
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500
(931) 393-1500
1-800-654-4877

Motlow College Honors History Class Tours Titanic Attraction in Pigeon Forge

April 1, 2013

Students in Dr. Scott Cook's American history honors class were given a tour of the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge by the ghost of one of the people who died when the ship sank more than 100 years ago.

From left are John Hill, Karen Hill, John Sartain, Elizabeth Daniels, Jessi Wilhoit, Abi Miller, Ashton Pierce, Ellie Camp, Tiffany Phillips, Daniel Callahan, Stephanie Crowder, Valaire Moore, and Erica Newman.
The tour guide adopted the character of 39-year-old Thomas Andrews, Jr., according to Cook, an associate professor of history and honors coordinator at Motlow. Andrews was the principal architect for the RMS Titanic's design and construction at Harland and Wolff Shipbuilders in Belfast, Ireland.

Cook said the field trip's purpose was to illustrate the principles the class has discussed in the classroom this semester.

"While the Titanic sank in 1912, the event demonstrates the assumptions of the Gilded Age, the problems of industrialization and wealth during the late 19th century, and issues associated with immigration," he explained. "Coupled with other industrial events, such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire in New York City in March 1911, the Titanic disaster illustrates a shift toward progressive industrial reform."

The Titanic exhibit illustrated also to the Motlow students the reality of the tragic shipwreck and the tremendous number of lives lost.

"It was very interesting to see the students' facial expressions during the tour," Cook said. "They realized the humanity of this avoidable tragedy and internalized the events as they never had before and could not have done in a traditional classroom setting. They realized the people on the boat were actually people, not characters from a book or film."

Student Valaire Moore said she learned "that man can be the cause of self-destruction, and that every person has a voice and a story."

Other students participating in the tour were John Sartain, Elizabeth Daniels, Jessi Wilhoit, Abi Miller, Ashton Pierce, Ellie Camp, Tiffany Phillips, Daniel Callahan, Stephanie Crowder and Erica Newman. In addition to Cook, they were accompanied by Student Government Association president Karen Hill and her husband, John Hill, a Motlow alumnus.