A new exhibit showcasing verified original signatures of prominent historical figures from around the world is currently hanging on the walls of Southern Adventist University’s McKee Library. The display is open to the public and includes 75 autographs spread across 24 frames, each of which include historically significant objects. The collection belongs to alumnus Rahn Shaw, who graduated from Southern in 1978.
“I want to inspire students,” Shaw said. “This collection represents people who aimed and strived for great accomplishments. For learners with all kinds of passions and interests, this can encourage them to dream big within the realms of their own fields of study.”
A few years ago, Shaw enabled Southern to better recognize and empower students with entrepreneurial spirits who are pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and business degrees when he initiated the Rahn and Natalia Shaw Endowed Scholarship Fund. Now, he hopes his collection will inspire students from all academic departments and schools.
Passion for science and history motivated Shaw to begin acquiring autographs nearly 30 years ago when he purchased the signature of Captain A. E. Laporte, the man who piloted the first mail service flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Other renowned signatures in the collection include Sir Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, Desmond Doss, Alexander Hamilton, and Albert Einstein. Each U.S. president is represented except the current commander in chief.
“Seeing the real signatures of notable historical figures on our walls is stimulating to our students,” Deyse Bravo, library director, said. “It’s a wonderful reminder of how ‘unimaginable’ feats can be achieved through hard work.”
Shaw’s collection will remain on the library’s main floor until December 9, 2022.
About Southern Adventist University
Southern Adventist University is a coeducational institution established by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Collegedale, Tennessee, United States. The school offers doctoral, master’s, baccalaureate, associate degrees, and one-year certificates. It offers various delivery modalities (face-to-face, online, hybrid, and other) to effectively support learners enrolled in the university’s classes and programs.
The school’s stated mission is to equip students to embrace biblical truth, embody academic and professional excellence, and pursue Spirit-filled lives of service.