Sound Beat Access Audio Chronicles to Release “You Don’t Surrender: Journal and Memoirs from Don Waful, a World War II P.O.W.”

Sitting in radio city around table with microphones are Don Waful, an elderly gentleman, student Tyler Youngman, Libraries' employee Jim O'Connor, and Inclusive U intern Gabby Iannotti
From Left to Right: Recording in WAER’s studios are: Don Waful ’37 and G’39, veteran; Tyler Youngman ’20, Sound Beat intern; James O’Connor, Sound Beat producer; Gabby Iannotti ‘19, Sound Beat intern from InclusiveU.

Syracuse University Libraries will be releasing its first audiobook titled “You Don’t Surrender: Journal and Memoirs from Don Waful, a World War II P.O.W.”  in October 2019.  This original audio content was produced by Sound Beat: Access Audio Chronicles, which creates audio projects that highlight iconic Syracuse University community members. Don Waful, who received his bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University’s College of Arts & Sciences in 1937 and his master’s degree in 1939, has been an icon in the community and on campus for decades. A member of the Alumni Glee Club, Waful is one of Syracuse’s oldest-living alumni and longest-tenured football fans. As an American Prisoner of War (POW) from 1942 through 1945 during World War II, Waful maintained a journal of his experiences. “You Don’t Surrender: Journal and Memoirs from Don Waful, a World War II P.O.W.” chronicles both the journal he maintained, along with a memorial perspective from Waful himself in the form of interviews conducted at WAER. The audiobook also includes historical commentary interspersed throughout the chronicles.

Historically, Sound Beat has been a 90-second daily radio program based on recordings from the Belfer Audio Archive, part of Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center. Sound Beat is broadcast in over 360 markets nationally and internationally, and each episode focuses on a particular recording and provides a short backstory detailing its place in the landscape of recorded sound. Sound Beat: Access Audio Chronicles is a new longer form program that extends the Sound Beat concept by enabling the creation of new knowledge and cultural exchange and advancing teaching, learning and research through the oral documentation of interviews, journals, experiences and perspectives from primary sources. It also extends Syracuse University Libraries’ commitment to accessibility and inclusion by providing resources to those who may not be able to read or process traditional print books or prefer listening to books.

Sound Beat, both the 90-second interstitials and the longer form Access Audio Chronicles, also provides an opportunity to incorporate applied learning for Syracuse University students who help to research, write and promote the episodes.  Recently students with intellectual and developmental disabilities from The Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education (InclusiveU) have begun working with Sound Beat. Syracuse University alumnus Brett Barry ’97, G’13, is the program host and narrator.  James O’Connor, Sound Beat producer, Bianca Caiella Breed, assistant director for development at Syracuse University Libraries, Tyler Youngman, production assistant, Sound Beat intern and Syracuse University student ‘20, Gabby Iannotti ’19, production assistant and InclusiveU graduate, and Ian Coe, Sound Beat intern and InclusiveU student ’21 have been working on the “You Don’t Surrender: Journal and Memoirs from Don Waful, a World War II P.O.W.”  audio project. In addition to reading and recording the journal entries, they have interviewed Don several times on topics ranging from his time as a student to key events that occurred during the war. Each interview and interaction has provided more depth to Waful’s character and unique story as a student and veteran, his outlook on life, and his loyalty to his alma mater. Through the interviews and his journal writings, Waful has shared his despairs while captured along with his hopes for his future.

As part of Orange Central, Syracuse University’s alumni weekend event, the team will be speaking about the experience of bringing the journal to life, complete with a question and answer session with Waful himself. The presentation will be on September 14, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. in Bird Library.


Orange Central 2019: What’s Happening at the Libraries?

A photo of the Syracuse University campus with a cursive text overlay that reads "Welcome Home"

Registration is now open for Orange Central 2019, Syracuse University’s annual homecoming and reunion weekend, September 12-15. Throughout the weekend, Syracuse University Libraries will be hosting a multitude of unique events for the Orange community to enjoy:

Friday, September 13

  • 9:30-10:00am or 4:30-5:00pm – 150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University Exhibition Tour*
    • Bird Library, Special Collections Research Center, 6th Floor
    • Featuring a wide selection of photographs, printed materials, textiles and other memorabilia from the University archives, this exhibition showcases the traditions that unite the University, including the number 44 and the color orange. Join University archivist and exhibition curator Meg Mason for a guided tour. (*Note that as of 6/7/19, the 9:30am time slot is full. Please see other tour time slot options on Friday and Saturday.)
    • Program cost: No charge
  • 10:00am-noon – Innovation Breakfast of Champions
    • Bird Library, Blackstone LaunchPad, 1st Floor, Suite 120
    • Did you ever pitch a product or an idea in an entrepreneurship competition while an SU student? Work on an innovation or student venture? Have you launched something since graduating? Join us in SU’s Innovation Hub in Bird Library to catch up and to get a sneak preview of the next crop of SU innovators.
    • Program cost: No charge; includes buffet breakfast
  • 2:30-3:15 or 3:30-4:15pm  – Preserving Your Orange Memories: A Preservation Fair
    • Bird Library, Special Collections Research Center, 6th Floor
    • Wondering how to preserve your freshman beanie, old photos, videotapes or yearbooks for years to come? Learn how to care for and preserve personal collections, especially your Syracuse University-related memorabilia. Please note: Libraries staff cannot provide preservation treatment or appraisals for items brought to the fair.
    • Program cost: No charge
  • 2:30-3:15 or 3:30-4:15pm  – Funding the Future
    • Bird Library, Blackstone LaunchPad, 1st Floor, Suite 120
    • Josh Aviv ’15, G’17, founder of SparkCharge, hosts an interactive fireside chat focused on emerging sustainable startup trends and creative funding opportunities for entrepreneurs. Co-hosted by the Blackstone LaunchPad, the School of Information Studies and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
    • Program cost: No charge
  • 4:00-5:30pm  – Forever Orange: The Story of Syracuse University
    • Bird Library, Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 1st Floor, Room 114
    • Join Rick Burton ’80 and Scott Pitoniak ’77, authors of Forever Orange, a book commemorating Syracuse University’s 150th anniversary, for a fascinating look at the diverse people, places and events that have helped Syracuse become an internationally renowned research university. Hear from the authors and take the opportunity to purchase the book (with a special 25% discount) and have them sign it. Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) will be provided.
    • Program cost: No charge

Saturday, September 14

  • 9:00-10:30am – 150th Campus Past and Present Walking Tour
    • Bird Library, Special Collections Research Center, 6th Floor
    • Learn about our past at the Special Collections Research Center exhibition, 150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University; meet the University archivist; and then explore campus during a walking tour led by student guides from the Office of Admissions’ U100 group. The weather in Syracuse can be fickle, so check the forecast, dress appropriately and wear comfortable shoes—the tour will go on, rain or shine! Please follow the directions in the registration form if you require golf cart transportation.
    • Program cost: No charge
  • 10:00-10:30, 10:45-11:15, or 11:30-12:00 – 150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University Exhibition Tour
    • Bird Library, Special Collections Research Center, 6th Floor
    • Featuring a wide selection of photographs, printed materials, textiles and other memorabilia from the University archives, this exhibition showcases the traditions that unite the University, including the number 44 and the color orange. Join University archivist and exhibition curator Meg Mason for a guided tour. (*Note that as of 6/7/19, the 9:30am time slot is full. Please see other tour time slot options on Friday and Saturday.)
    • Program cost: No charge
  • 10:30-11:30am – Bringing Don Waful’s POW Journal to Life
    • Bird Library, Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 1st Floor, Room 114
    • A look behind the scenes of a unique audio project from Sound Beat, the popular public radio program from the Syracuse University Libraries. Host Brett Barry ’98, G’13 narrates selections from the World War II POW journal of Don Waful ’37, G’39 interspersed with present-day commentary from Mr. Waful himself, nearly 80 years later! Q&A to follow.
    • Program cost: No charge
  • 12:30-2:00pm – Libraries Former Employees Lunch*
    • Bird Library, Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 1st Floor, Room 114
    • Have you ever worked in the SU Libraries system, either professionally or while an SU student? We welcome you back to the Libraries for a celebratory lunch for an afternoon of networking and conversation!
    • Program cost: No charge; includes refreshments

Please note that registration is required for all Orange Central events. For a full list of campus-wide events or to register, please visit: cusecommunity.syr.edu.