Under the direction of Dr. Melford Wilson, political science professor, and Alan Rash, the first student coordinator, Winthrop established a Model United Nations in 1976. The first Conference occurred April 14-16, 1977. Some 200 high school students from North and South Carolina came to Winthrop representing some 50 nations to debate the issues of giving Panama the canal, seating Vietnam as an official representative, and giving the Palestinians a homeland.
The Winthrop Model UN is unique in several ways. It was the first program of its kind to combine participation of college students and high school students. The college students, who act as delegate chairs, are also enrolled in a Winthrop course on the United Nations and are assigned countries to represent. The high school students are assigned a country to represent at the Conference and study this country during the school year before the conference. Winthrop’s Model UN also is as much like the United Nations as they can possibly achieve.
From the UN class, students are selected for the Secretariat, which plans and runs the following year’s conference. Since its conception, the Winthrop Model UN has expanded to represent 65 nations. A simulated Security Council has also been added.
The April Exhibit celebrates Winthrop’s Model United Nations’ 35th anniversary. It is composed of photographs, resolutions, memorabilia and other material from each of Winthrop’s 35 Conferences. These records and photographs are housed in the Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections. The exhibit will run from March 31 through April 25. For more information on the exhibit or the Model United Nations Records, please contact the Archives at (803) 323-2334 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.