“It was incredible to think that I was likely the first person to hold those documents in decades.” —Matthew Longfellow
Class of 2018 Marburn graduate, Matthew Longfellow, now a graduate of Capital University studied History with minors in Film and Media Production and Youth Ministry. During his time at Capital he also was a part of a team who produced the documentary, “Dear Miss Conrad, Capital University in WWII”, a student-led production compiled from historic university archival materials, letters to and from Capital’s faculty, soldiers, and students, and personal interviews conducted and analyzed by Capital University students.
The documentary tells the story of Capital University, a school with German-Lutheran roots, during World War II and shows how the university struggled to distinguish its identity from the Holocaust during that time.
The second in a series of historical documentaries Matthew has worked on at Capital University, “Dear Miss Conrad” was created around a series of letters from the 1940’s that Capital students found in the university’s archives stored in the basement of Capital’s library. Miss Conrad was a librarian at the university during World War II and built relationships with students there. “She was a presence in the students’ lives during that time, so when students were drafted in the military, they sent letters to her,” said Matthew. “As I was scanning letters and newspapers to digitize them for the documentary, it was incredible to think that I was likely the first person to hold those documents in decades.”
As a History major at Capital University, Matthew enrolled in the film course with a little apprehension his freshman year. “FMP-494 is a capstone class for film students,” said Matthew. “I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting myself into, but the class is designed for both History majors and Film majors.” In the class as a freshman, Matthew’s main role was digitizing old university newspapers, and he also created a short animated sequence for the documentary. His sophomore year, Matthew enrolled in the class again and took on more of a leadership role as Lead Animator where he worked on more complicated computer animation sequences and assisted with research.
But leadership hasn’t always come easy for Matthew. Mid-way through his eighth-grade year, Matthew enrolled at Marburn Academy. Before Marburn, he had challenges with maintaining focus and was falling behind. During his time at Marburn, technology courses gave Matthew the confidence to try some computer animation in his free time. He also served as one of Marburn’s Student Ambassadors during High School, helping Marburn’s faculty and staff with events and tours. That work paid off with the opportunity to hone his computer animation skills at Capital, and in his role with Capital’s Admission office giving tours of the campus.
Matthew is thrilled with his experience at Capital and attributes much of his success to the foundations he learned at Marburn. “Starting college at Capital, I really hit the ground running,” Matthew stated. “The time management and organization skills I learned at Marburn prepared me as much, if not more so, than my peers. I’ve done really well, and I’m proud to have made the President’s List every semester .”
Learn more about the film here: https://dearmissconrad.com
In his senior year, Matthew also created a Marburn Academy alumni video. That video is available for viewing here.