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University Archives and Special Collections have special reasons to remember Dr. Gerald ("Jerry") Shinn. Many manuscript and artifacts in Special Collections and University Archives are from Dr. Shinn and/or are connected to his legacy. Many of the library’s signature art pieces came via the North Carolina and National Living Treasures Award competitions that Dr. Shinn originated. We remember Dr. Shinn for his lasting effects on the university and generations of students (“young’uns”).

Dr. Shinn passed away Saturday, January 26, 2013. Dr. Shinn was a UNCW professor from 1967-1995. Besides enthusiastically teaching philosophy and logic, he led the Museum of World Cultures and initiated the Schweitzer International Prizes, bringing Mother Teresa to UNCW in 1975 as the first prize recipient. The Schweitzer International Prizes became the Albert Schweitzer Honors Scholars Award. This program brings renowned community leaders from the Cape Fear region to campus to speak to each year's Honors College first-year class.

Albert Schweitzer Honors Scholars Award recipients exemplify the attributes and ideals of Albert Schweitzer by making a difference in the areas of medicine, music or humanitarian efforts.  A missionary doctor who established a hospital in French Equatorial Africa, where he spent much of his life, Schweitzer received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1952. Fittingly, Dr. Shinn was honored with the first Albert Schweitzer Honors Scholars Award in 2002, the same year that the Shinn Plaza located near the International and Honors Houses was dedicated in his honor.

A memorial service in Randall Library is planned for date later this year.

Reverence for life affords me my fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting and enhancing life, and that to destroy, to harm or to hinder life is evil.
--Dr. Albert Schweitzer

More about Dr. Shinn:

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Michael A. Papadeas of Kure Beach donated more than 100 Hellenic books to Randall Library. The books are a gift to Randall Library Special Collections. "These books are in such good condition," University Librarian Sarah Barabara Watstein said. "This donation shows that Mr. Papadeas recognizes the care and attention that the books will continue to receive from the Special Collections staff at Randall Library."

A retired engineer and businessman, Mr. Papadeas collected the books over a 50-year period. The collection covers Greek history, culture and literature beginning in antiquity. Most are written in classical Greek; in Katharevousa, the conservative or "High" form of modern Greek; or in the demotic Greek spoken by most Greeks today. About 30 percent of the volumes are in English.

Mr. Papadeas said he was inspired to make the gift after attending a 2011 lecture at Randall Library by Nicholas Gage, the Greek-American author of the best-selling "Eleni." Gage's appearance was sponsored by the Cape Fear chapter of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a Greek-American group.

Mr. Papadeas holds a U.S. patent related to the testing of telephone channel filters, and he is the author of several technical papers and a business program management guide. He is also a published poet. His memoir  "Coming to America: A Memoir, 1938-1958” will be printed for distribution in early 2013.

Sources:  The Seahawk, UNCW's student newspaper, Wilmington Star-News, 1/13/2013 and UNCW news release, 1/9/2013


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UNCW Archives has partnered with UNCW’s Student Government Association (SGA) to bring "Building a Stronger Community: UNCW Student Government Association" to Randall Library. The exhibit celebrates democracy and representative student government, featuring documents, photographs, books, student newspapers and other memorabilia.

Since 1947 the SGA—formerly the Student Council—has built and strengthened campus community. The average Seahawk may not realize just how completely SGA enriches the student experience. A few examples are Saferides, a cab voucher program; free legal services; “Feel My Teal” t-shirts at basketball games; and funding for all student organizations. With their revamped motto, “Your Voice, Your Vision,” UNCW’s SGA strives to create a campus environment that is shaped by the entire student body.

Visit Special Collections Monday through Friday until December 5 to view the exhibit. Hours vary during University holidays and breaks.


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Read 10 letters from Randall Library Special Collections written between 1861 and 1985. Connect to the manuscript collections and learn about the writers behind the letters.

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UNCW Archives has partnered with the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center to digitize an alumni newsletter entitled UNCW Today: News from UNC by the Sea. This publication was in print from 1982-1990.

The NC Digital Heritage Center (DigitalNC) is a statewide digitization and digital publishing program housed in the North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

UNCW yearbooks are also available via DigitalNC.