R. C. Gorman Donates Library to Diné CollegeAug 15th, 2003 | By tcj | Category: 15-1: Indigenizing Our Future, Tribal College News
Internationally renowned artist R. C. Gorman (Navajo) recently donated his personal library collection to Diné College; the oldest and largest tribal college. Gorman’s donation, in honor of his late mother and father, included significant works in various artistic and literary genres, Navajo history, language, and culture including hand-annotated editions of what are believed to be the earliest Navajo Christian hymns, translated by Gorman’s late grandmother.
To commemorate Gorman’s gift, Diné College will establish the R. C. Gorman Library Collection. “We are honored by such a considerable gift which will inspire our Navajo students,” said Diné College President Cassandra Manuelito-Kerkvliet. “Mr. Gorman’s library collection will augment the college’s libraries and benefit students, researchers, and the Navajo Nation,” she said.
“Books on arts and artists like Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, and Van Gogh greatly enhance the fine arts curriculum at Diné College and will inspire future generations of Navajo artists,” Ferlin Clark, former vice president for development at the college said.
Gorman is also donating the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor awarded to his father, Carl Gorman, one of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers. The R. C. Gorman Library Collection will be installed on the second floor of Diné College’s main library in Tsaile, AZ. Cameron Daines, construction project manager, helped plan and design the new library addition as a safe and secure environment conducive for students and researchers. “R. C. Gorman’s generosity is a true expression of the Navajo philosophy of generosity,” said Clark.
David Hurley, director of library services for Diné College’s Arizona campuses, said, “A major addition to our libraries’ holdings, this donation also has tremendous symbolic value because it comes from an individual who is already an important role model for many of our students.” The college planned a blessing and celebration to open the new addition as part of Diné College’s 35th Anniversary activities in July.