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Affiliate Faculty share an interest and enthusiasm for the Center's mission, conduct tourism research activities in conjunction with the Center, serve as thesis advisors and members, and mentor students working on sustainable tourism related research.
Wright Brothers Historian
Larry E. Tise
Wilbur and Orville Wright Distinguished Professor of History
My interests lie in the area of advising and assisting academic and community organizations on matter relating to the Wright brothers and the origins of manned flight. I have researched all aspects of Wright Brothers history and the impact of the Wright brothers on North Carolina as a tourist destination. I am also an expert on the history of the Lost Colony phenomena—especially efforts to convert the history of the Raleigh colonies into a tourist attraction. Prior to beginning my association with East Carolina University, I was Director of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC. I also served as the Consulting Historian for the North Carolina First Flight Centennial Commission, the official body that planned the 2003 commemoration of the Wright brothers' historic first powered flight on December 17, 1903. I completed four summer faculty fellowships at NASA Langley Research Center, which I have also advised regarding the Wright brothers and the origins of manned flight. In my current role as Wilbur and Orville Wright Distinguished Professor of History at ECU, I assist the university and the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences in organizing their participation in activities surrounding the centennial of the Brothers National Memorial between 1928 and 1932. In addition, I advise on activities relating to the quadracentennial of benchmarks in the lives of Walter Raleigh and his American colonization partners Thomas Harriot and John White.
My main research interests focus on the lives of the Wright brothers. I am developing for eventual publication a complete edition of all those hundreds of documents written by the Wright brothers, their family, friends, colleagues, and rivals which have never before been published. Many of these documents are in the process of being edited for inclusion on the ECU Wright brothers' websites developed and managed by Joyner Library and separately under the auspices of Thomas Harriot College at www.WorldAloft.org. This site is also being developed to contain hundreds of previously unpublished letters and documents relating to the process whereby Wilbur and Orville Wright pursued a world marketplace for their invention—and their highly publicized historic flights at Le Mans and Pau in France, Rome, and Berlin. In addition to this website, I have also collected hundreds of additional photographs and documents concerning the flights of Wilbur Wright in France in 1908 and 1909 and at Rome in the spring of 1909. I am additionally working with the Roanoke Island Historical Association—producer of the renowned outdoor symphonic drama "the Lost Colony"—to explore new topics on the life and career of Sir Walter Raleigh and on the history of the outdoor drama.