George D. Terry Library Building Fund

Portrait of George Terry by Larry Lebby
George D. Terry
Portrait by Larry Lebby


The George D. Terry Library Building Fund was established to honor the memory of Dr. Terry who served as Vice Provost and Dean of Libraries from 1991 until his death on October 20, 2001.

During his years at Carolina, Dr. Terry's life epitomized commitment and service to many areas of the University. The University Libraries were fortunate to have his focused attention and leadership during the last ten years of his life, and as a result, experienced tremendous growth. The Libraries' recognition as one of the Southeast's strongest academic research collections is testimony to George Terry's determination and devotion.

A Vision

As the special collections holdings at Thomas Cooper Library continued to expand, George Terry envisioned building a new library to house these collections. With the completion of theErnest F.Hollings Special Collections Library in Spring of 2010, George Terry's dream will become a reality.

The Fund

The George D. Terry Library Building Fund, which was established with the close participation of Dr. Terry's widow, Lynn Robertson, will provide an enduring tribute to him. Contributions to this fund will be used to support the Rare Books and Special Collections area of the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library.

If you would like to participate in Libraries' efforts to honor George Terry, please contact us.

George D. Terry

George Terry, Director of McKissick Museum, speaking at the rededication of the McKissick Museum in October 1984
George Terry in 2000
George Terry, Director of McKissick Museum,
spoke at the rededication of the McKissick
Museum on October 13, 1984
George Terry in 2000


Dr. Terry held B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina. He served as Curator of History and then as Director of McKissick Museum from 1976-1988 and was System Vice President for Administration from 1988-1991. Upon becoming Vice Provost and Dean of Libraries, he also assumed oversight for academic and administrative computing, telecommunications, distance education, and instructional support services. During his tenure, the nine USC campuses were linked with an online library system for the first time.

The Libraries' special collections at both the Thomas Cooper Library and the South Caroliniana Library acquired more unique collections while George Terry was at the helm than in the preceding 150-year period. Some of the notable materials acquired during George Terry's tenure include the G. Ross Roy Collection of Robert Burns, Burnsiana, and Scottish Literature; the Matthew J. and Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald; the Speiser and Easterling-Hallman Foundation Collection of Ernest Hemingway; the Kohn-Henning Library; the C. Warren Irvin, Jr. Collection of Charles Darwin and Darwiniana; the Augusta Baker Collection of African-American Children's Literature and Folklore; the Henry W. Kendall Collection of the Papers of Henry Laurens; the Ernest F. Hollings Papers, and many others.

In 1994, Dr. Terry fostered the creation of an annual publication, Ex Libris, to showcase the Libraries' special collections. He also realized the need to increase private support for the libraries when he established the Office of Development in 1995. Currently, more than 80 library funds provide private support and an endowment total of more than $10 million.

Dr Terry was instrumental in the planning and construction of the Library Annex where seldom-used materials are stored, thus freeing space in the on-campus libraries for new materials.

Portrait of George Terry

The unveiling of George Terry's portrait at Thomas Cooper Library on April 13, 2005     Lynn Robertson, second from left, is surrounded by well wishers at the unveiling of the George Terry portrait
Many friends and colleagues of the late George Terry attended the unveiling of his portrait at Thomas Cooper Library on April 13, 2005     Lynn Robertson, second from left, is surrounded by well wishers at the unveiling of the George Terry portrait
Lynn Robertson pulls the cord to unveil the portrait of her late husband, George Terry     Shown with the George Terry portrait are USC President, Andrew Sorensen; artist, Larry Lebby; USC President Emeritus, John Palms; George Terry's widow, Lynn Robertson; and then-Dean of Libraries, Paul Willis
Lynn Robertson pulls the cord to unveil the portrait of her late husband, George Terry     Shown with the portrait, left to right, are USC President, Andrew Sorensen; artist, Larry Lebby; USC President Emeritus, John Palms; George Terry's widow, Lynn Robertson; and Dean of Libraries, Paul Willis


In the spring of 2004, a committee was constituted to select an artist who would create a portrait of George Terry for the University Libraries. Members of the committee included Herb Hartsook, Director of the South Caroliniana Library; Tom McNally, Director of the Thomas Cooper Library; Lynn Robertson, Director of McKissick Museum; Patrick Scott, Director of Rare Books and Special Collections at the Thomas Cooper Library; and Nancy Washington, Director of Publications for the University Libraries. After viewing presentations by a number of artists, the committee unanimously selected Columbia artist, Larry Francis Lebby to create the portrait.

Mr. Lebby, received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in art from the University of South Carolina. He has become an internationally acclaimed artist whose work has been displayed in such prestigious venues as the Vatican, the White House, the United Nations, the U.S. Capitol, the Smithsonian Institution, the Newark Museum in New Jersey, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Huntsville Museum in Alabama, the S.C. State House, and the Columbia Museum of Art. The subjects of his portraits include President Jimmy Carter, Senator Strom Thurmond, Modjeska Simpkins, Benjamin E. Mays, Chief Justice Ernest A. Finney Jr., Hank Aaron, and Judge Matthew J. Perry.

Mr. Lebby executed the portrait of George Terry in a technique called dry-brush watercolor. This technique, which Mr. Lebby has perfected in many previous portraits and other works of art, gives the painting a lightness and buoyancy not often found in formal portraits.

The finished portrait was unveiled at a ceremony in the Thomas Cooper Library on April 13, 2005. Scores of admirers of George Terry from both the University and the community at large gathered to hear remarks by University President, Dr. Andrew Sorensen; Distinguished President Emeritus, Dr. John Palms; and the artist.

The portrait will hang in the Thomas Cooper Library mezzanine area until the Hollings Library is completed at which time it will be installed in the Rare Books and Special Collections Department. A smaller reproduction of the portrait will hang in the South Caroliniana Library.

Donors who have contributed.

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