What Would Fred Rogers Do?
“Fred” is a four-letter word; and like “fame” or “life” or “love,” what ultimately matters is what we do with it.
Something about Fred and his work touched millions of children and grown-ups. No matter how or when we got to know him, we may still find ourselves wondering what Fred might do if he were in our place facing our challenges.
While most of us are drawn to the legacy by “what” Fred did and produced, the Fred Rogers Archive holds the best answers to the “why” and “how” inside Fred’s work. Understanding the principles and approaches that supported Fred’s public service helps us to adapt and apply them in our own contexts.
What each of us does with whatever we learned from Fred Rogers Archive is the only honest answer to “What would Fred Rogers do?” Even as we look to Fred’s Archive for guidance and support, the simple gift Fred gave us, paradoxically, is the conviction that each of us has something worth giving to our own neighbors and communities.
Examples of Archival Work
There are numerous short-term and long-term research projects that take place at the Fred Rogers Archive. Long-term projects at the Center revolve around the work by our PNC Grow Up Great Senior Fellow Hedda Sharapan to reverse engineer episodes of Mister Rogers Neighborhood back to original audio recordings between Fred and his mentor, Dr. Margaret McFarland to illustrate how complex early childhood development theory resulted in deep and thoughtful programming. Through the Incubator 143 Lab, students and faculty are engaged in the long-term study of the Fred Rogers Archive. Because of the diverse backgrounds and passions of our students, the inquiries into the archive are just as varied.