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Historic Autograph Collection on Display in Southern Adventist University’s McKee Library

Rahn Shaw autograph collection is on display at Southern Adventist University

The Rahn Shaw autograph collection showcasing verified original signatures of prominent historical figures from around the world is on display at Southern Adventist University. Photo provided by Southern Adventist University

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 alum Rahn Shaw (class of 1978), M.D.

“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 STEM and business degrees when he initiated the Dr. 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,” said Deyse Bravo, library director. “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.

For more information about McKee Library, including operating hours, visit

Amanda Blake is junior journalism major at Southern Adventist University.