(Editor’s Note: The following is the fifth part of a series of articles looking at the lives of WCU faculty and staff before they were educators.)
Which one of your history professors graduated high school in 1987, which he refers to as “history’s greatest year for fashion and hairstyles?” Western Carolina University’s own assistant professor of History, Dr. Hunt Boulware.
Boulware attended Spring Valley High School, home of the Vikings, in Columbia, South Carolina. During high school, Boulware was an active member of the chess club, and made the Vikings proud by lettering in both football and soccer. Although he excelled at the typical ruggedly manly sports, he showed his softer side by sporting a 1967 VW Bug as his very first car.
Growing up in the 80s, it is no surprise that Boulware was a fan of true 80s rockers like Huey Lewis and the News, and the Beastie Boys, both innovators of rock in their own ways and according to Boulware, “two groups everyone naturally associates with one another.”
This child of the 80s didn’t watch much T.V. growing up, but like any other teen during the time, he was a big fan of Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and of course, Back to the Future. Huey Lewis and the News received worldwide fame for their song “The Power of Love”, which was a key track on the soundtrack for Back to the Future. When asked what his favorite movie growing up was, Boulware replied, “If I had to rank a #1, it would be A Christmas Story.” Who wouldn’t love a film about the awkward teenage years set around Christmas time?
Boulware credits his family vacations for being responsible for his current profession. Although his parents always came up with fun and interesting vacations, Boulware said, “No matter where we went, Boulware family law dictated we stop at all historical markers and battlefields, which played no small role in my chosen profession.”
The 80s rocker fanatic always tried to stay out of trouble, thanks to Bill Cosby. Boulware remembered, “Though Bill Cosby joked about it, my brothers and I were convinced that my dad was legally allowed to kill any of us the moment he deemed it necessary for the greater good, so we (mostly) stayed in line.”
The influence of the rebellious rocker 80s was evident when Boulware said that he doesn’t have any tattoos or piercings “anymore”, alluding to the idea that somewhere hidden is photo evidence that before becoming a teacher, he had piercings to show his rocker side.
The athletic teenager inside of him, matched with the historical family vacations, Boulware knew that he always wanted to teach or coach in some capacity; he split his undergrad between several different school, but graduated from the University of South Carolina and proudly proclaimed, “and yes, I am a diehard Gamecock. He went on to receive his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.
When he is teaching, or watching the Gamecocks, Boulware still enjoys playing chess. He also enjoys the outdoors and loves to hike and camp. He considers his choice to teach at WCU and live in the area as being “the perfect location” to satisfy both his professional career and hobbies.