Back to the Future: Highland Cavalier archives offer glimpse of past, threads of common campus experience across six decades

The Highland Cavalier staff recently discovered the entirety of our newspaper’s history on the UVa-Wise library’s website.

The Highland Cavalier has changed a bit since 1954. With ads that were hand-drawn and articles that would not quite pass as news today, the inaugural newspaper is truly a gem to look at.

Even with its beginnings of hand-typed and hand-drawn mimeograph stencils, our predecessors put in plenty of legwork and time to help chronicle campus life at Clinch Valley College and what is now UVa-Wise.

As the years passed, the paper evolved and changed with the times. Articles gradually moved to more political content. Intramural sports became a staple for the paper as the 80’s rolled around.

And if you think parking is a recent hot-button campus issue, think again. It crops up frequently across the decades as you browse through the pages of old Highland Cavalier issues.

Now, the Highland Cavalier has more color, dramatically different layout and content that would have been unthinkable in 1954. Even with modern digital photographic and design technology, however, putting out a newspaper still means people finding out what happens on campus.

Some aspects of the paper throughout the years will now be implemented in today’s Highland Cavalier for a newspaper experience that encompasses the college’s history.

I recommend that everyone look at the archives on the college library’s website and see the history of the college and the Highland Cavalier.

Go to the main library website from, then look under ‘About’ for Special Collections and ‘The Highland Cavalier’. You can read old issues online, and we are in the process of moving .pdf files of issues from 2015 to the present to the library for addition to the online archive.

Also, look around at the other Special Collections listings. They require an actual physical trip to the library, but the effort to find out a bit more of your heritage as UVa-Wise students will be well-rewarded.

And if that sounds old-fashioned, then pretend that you’re Marty McFly or Doc Emmett Brown and go back … to UVa-Wise’s future.

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