Introduction
Introduction

Vanderbilt University drew a number of national politicians, celebrities and writers to the campus in the 1960s, many of whom were documented in film. Most of these video clips of well-known visitors to Vanderbilt campus in the 1960s were made by students as part of IMPACT, a symposium that began in 1964 under the leadership of Chancellor Alexander Heard.

The program was founded on the belief that it was important to bring discussion to the campus to generate awareness and debate in a changing world. From its beginning, IMPACT was challenging and thoughtful, but it reached a fever pitch in 1967 when Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Allen Ginsberg, Strom Thurmond, and Black Panther Stokely Carmichael were invited to participate.

Following are clips from some of those student IMPACT videos along with film from President John F. Kennedy's 1963 visit to Vanderbilt and a speech by Winthrop Rockefeller from 1968 (who had participated in IMPACT '65). IMPACT is still active today, producing annual symposia on the Vanderbilt campus. For more information about these video clips and the IMPACT collections, visit the University Archives.