Declan McBride returned from Surrey, England to study sociology at Wittenberg University, where his senior thesis focused on institutional racism surrounding Ohio Election Law. After college Declan moved to Martha’s Vineyard where he partnered with his grandfather Sheldon Hackney, a southern historian, and Patricia Sullivan, also a southern historian, to research and write the autobiography of C. Vann Woodward. Soon thereafter, Declan joined with Barney Zeitz, a local artist specializing in stainless steel sculptures and stained glass windows. While the duties varied, it mainly consisted of restoring crumbling church windows to their original beauty.