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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stalwart Champions of Columbia - Tom McNally, Patrick Scott and their Team.

Have you ever been to the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina????

It is incredible.  My friend, Mack Whittle, has been telling me that this fine school is worth a visit and he was right.  What a treat.  This institution is a sparkling star!

Again, my belief that the greatest asset of the United States are our amazing Universities and Colleges is proven resoundingly true.  Here the greatness of Americans manifests itself because we have created a band of institutions that propel our young minds into our society.  Our generous spirit is supercharged by the memories of how wonderful the College experience was and more grateful citizens are created every year.

The University of South Carolina is a shinning star in the accomplishments of the American people.  This is something that we should all be proud of and support.

Tom McNally, the Librarian at the University of South Carolina, runs a facility that is hopping with energy filled with students who are focused.   And to my great pleasure they are polite, well dressed and engaged.  His Library has a new special collections wing that is world class.  He has hired talented, professional architects who have created an alluring environment with his new spaces.  With his huge success and distinguished leadership, it follows that his friends organization is filled with an elegant group of the finest people of South Carolina.  

And Patrick Scott!

Here we have a Librarian of Special Collections who is a Professor of English first and foremost.   Armed with a distinguished Oxford education he has found a way to protect and restore some of the great treasures of his University.

Sadly the climate of South Carolina has been brutal on books since its founding in 1801 to the invention of air conditioning.   Much of what he has brought to life has been through 140 years of humid, hot Summers and cooler, dry Winters.  This punishing yearly cycle of humidity and temperature change has taken a toll on one of the finest collections in the world of Milton, Darwin, Hemmingway, Braun and Hogenberg, Audubon, Catesby (they have all three editions - 1731, 1754 and 1771), Piranesi and perhaps the finest collection in the world of Walter Scott.

With a limited budget he has worked wonders bringing these masterpieces back to life and then finding ways to bring these works into the lives of  our impressionable young.   The rooms for the display of these works are inspiring.

Thank you for giving me such a heartening look into this splendid school Tom and Patrick.

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