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Joyce Wood Has a Passion for History

New Anderson Artists Guild member Joyce Wood has always loved to read. “My aunt is fond of describing me sitting in school not paying attention to the lessons with books around me,” she said.

That interest sparked many others, but when Wood had to declare a major at Winthrop College, she chose history. “It includes everything,” she said. “I love the flow of cause and effect, how things in the past reverberate to the present. Tracing connections like that is fascinating.”

She eventually earned a doctorate in history from the University of South Carolina, completing a dissertation on volunteer nurses in World War I. She came to admire the enthusiasm, commitment, and courage of the women in Voluntary Aid Detachments, who served in tent hospitals behind the front lines in France. “They had to adapt to unbelievably horrendous situations,” she said.

Wood had a long teaching career—a year as a graduate assistant at Winthrop, 11 years at Westside High School, and 37 years at Anderson University. Her goal always was “helping students to grow in awareness of the world and what is going on.”

Now retired, she is giving her attention to projects she never had time for, such as a memoir inherited from a Charleston man who served in the Navy during World War I. The finished work will be distributed to his family members.

Wood initially got involved with the AAG through friends like Ruth Hopkins and Marion Carroll, who regularly invited her to receptions, and she recently became a member herself. “I enjoyed so much seeing the creativity of people in the community,” she said. “I love seeing how others can see patterns and designs and put things together as they do.”


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