The late Professor Marv Meyer was fond of intoning in his sonorous voice that the massive bronze sculpture of Dr. Albert Schweitzer sitting at the steps of Argyros Forum was “the biggest and the baaadest bust” on campus.
It still is. And now Chapman University’s Albert Schweitzer Collection, an assemblage of memorabilia and papers once belonging to the revered humanitarian, is lodged in an equally impressive new home on the second floor of Argyros Forum. Reorganized and refurbished, the displays include myriad objects, from Schweitzer’s childhood report card to his medical equipment. An interactive iPad invites visitors to watch videos or learn more about the physician-philosopher’s reverence for life and humanitarian work.
But the collection is more than just a gathering of interesting objects, said Professor Nancy Martin, Ph.D., the new director of the
Albert Schweitzer Institute
“We’re going to develop the website as a resource about Schweitzer and collaborate with the library and fine arts collection manager to begin cataloging the documents, photographs and items in our archival collection. We want them to be available to people for research outside the institution and also for our students to do original research,” Martin said, speaking at a Wednesday evening reception to unveil the reinstated collection.
The renewed display is also emblematic of the Schweitzer traditions the institute plans to imbue into campus life through new programs and events, Martin said.
“Such serious engagement of the mind and the heart is crucial in our time. Even as it was in his. Schweitzer truly embodies global citizenship and models so many of the values of a Chapman education in his interdisciplinary, intellectual and artistic pursuits,” Martin said.
The institute will also continue to award scholarships and its two humanitarian awards.
The Schweitzer Award for Excellence
is an annual award given to an individual or organization that exemplifies Schweitzer’s ethics of reverence for life and his dedication to a life of service.
The Rising Star Award
is presented to an inspirational young alumna or alumnus who has taken up Albert Schweitzer’s challenge to find a place to invest his or her humanity for the betterment of humankind and the world.
The Albert Schweitzer Collection was made possible through gifts and support from Kurt and Alice Bergel, Dorothy and Lee Ellerbrock, Valerie Scudder, John Scudder, the Marjorie Mosher Schmidt Foundation, The Fashionables, Erica Anderson, Dr. Donald Desfor, Dr. Louise Jilek-Aall, Mike Martin, Karen Martin, Anne Frey, Dr. Maurice Frey, Manuel J. Rosales (Rosales Pipe Organ Services, Inc.), Frederick Franck, Gordon L. Shepherd, Ronald Huntington, and Dr. Marvin Meyer.
Research assistance was also provided by the Association International de l’oeuvre du Dr. Albert Schweitzer de Lambaréné (AISL) and La Fondation Internationale de l’Hôpital du Docteur Albert Schweitzer. Several student curatorial assistants also helped bring the exhibit to completion, including Hannah Brockway, Mark Bustamante, Kimberly Powers, Yelena Kasianova, Mackenzie Davisson, Alexandra Allen, Jessica Johnson and Manon Wogahn.