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Contact: Christine Payton March 8, 2012
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
 
Donation to Ernest J. Gaines Center Honors Two Professors
 
The Ernest J. Gaines Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette recently received a collection of over 1,000 books. The books belonged to two UL Lafayette professors: English Professor Emerita Dr. Patricia Rickels and History Professor Bradley Pollock. Both died in 2009.

These books will provide a large collection of materials relating to African American literature, history, sociology and many more disciplines. The donation will add to the existing resources located in the Edith Garland Dupré Library. This donation was made through the generosity of James D. Wilson, assistant director of the Center for Louisiana Studies and UL Press, and Dr. Julia Frederick, director of UL Lafayette's Honors Program.

The donated collection includes a first edition of Native Son by Richard Wright and many other unique monographs. “This generous donation of books related to African American studies helps the center to fulfill its mission and honors the memory of two former colleagues who contributed so much to African American studies at UL Lafayette,” said Gaines Center Director Marcia Gaudet.

Dr. Rickels taught at UL Lafayette for 50 years, from 1957 to 2007, and was one of the most influential and beloved figures in the history of the university. Dr. Pat, as she was known to thousands of students, was a gifted and inspiring teacher, at all levels of instruction. In the UL Lafayette community, she was best known as the longtime director of the Honors Program (1979-2007), which she co-founded in 1970. She pioneered courses in folklore and African American literature in the UL Lafayette English Department and was an accomplished scholar in these areas.

Professor Pollock was a kind, gentle, and thoughtful colleague and friend who played a vital role in the Department of History and Geography. He joined the faculty in 1984, and became a fixture at the university, teaching a range of important classes in U.S., African, African American, and Global History. From the time of his M.A. thesis on W.E.B. Dubois and the Dilemma of the Racial Dialect, Professor Pollock dedicated his professional career to the discussion and consideration of minority affairs and the importance of African American culture in the U.S.

“ This donation gives the center a chance to be one of the only places in southwest Louisiana with such a vast and wide ranging focus on the African American experience. The center embraces the charge to preserve and provide access to this one of a kind collection,” said Archivist and Assistant Director of the Gaines Center Derek Mosley.

The Ernest J. Gaines Center at University of Louisiana at Lafayette is an international center for scholarship on Ernest Gaines and his work. The center honors the work of UL Lafayette’s writer-in-residence emeritus and provides a space for scholars and students to work with the Gaines papers and manuscripts.

The center plans to continue to build and maintain its holdings across African American studies. For more information, contact the Ernest J. Gaines Center at 337-482-1848 or gainescenter@louisiana.edu

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About UL Lafayette
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the second largest university in the state, with over 16,000 students. It’s a public institution that awards bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. It includes diverse offerings from the humanities to scientific research and leads the nation in areas like computer science, biology and nursing. Its student-athletes – Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns – compete in NCAA Division I, the highest level of collegiate competition.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Document last revised Thursday, March 8, 2012 10:03 AM

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