Dr. Ronald Harrigan displays his collection.



To help preserve the history of the institution that shaped
his life both personally and professionally, retired
University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) associate professor
and alumnus, Dr. Ronald Harrigan, has donated his
extensive collection of UVI memorabilia to the UVI Library.
Containing old photographs, yearbooks, reports, student
publications and handbooks, letters, calendars and
other items of note, the collection chronicles many of the
events and milestones in the history of UVI, from its
founding in 1962 to the present day.

“Preserving Virgin Islands history is a hobby for me,”
explained Dr. Harrigan who is a former president of the
Virgin Islands Genealogical Society and member of the
St. Thomas Historical Trust. “Unfortunately, we (UVI) lost
some archives after Hurricane Hugo and Marilyn, so I
wanted to give everything I have to some beneficial use
to students and my colleagues,” he said. “The University
is the best place to preserve them.”

Sharlene Harris and Dr. Ronald Harrigan hold student newspaper.
Sharlene Harris and Dr. Ronald Harrigan hold student newspaper.

“The Harrigan donation encompasses a treasure trove of
historically valuable materials that hold immense
significance for our University,” said Mark-Jeffrey Deans,
director of Libraries. “These items offer a multifaceted
view of student life on our campus and offer profound
insights into the University’s growth and the cultural
atmosphere that has shaped it. Undoubtedly, it will
contribute significantly to enriching the library’s already
extensive collection.”

Dr. Harrigan graduated from the College of the Virgin
Islands (now UVI) in 1968 with an associate’s degree in
Business Management and continued on to earn a
Bachelors degree in Business Administration in 1972.

He began his long career at UVI that same year holding a
range of positions on both campuses including Assistant
to the Registrar, Student Personnel Officer, Director of
Student Affairs, Vice President for Student Affairs/Life and
Development, Associate Professor, and Interim Dean of
the School of Education, to name a few.

. Gilbert Sprauve, Dr. Ronald Harrigan, Dr. SolomonKabuka and Dr. Orville Kean
Gilbert Sprauve, Dr. Ronald Harrigan, Dr. Solomon
Kabuka and Dr. Orville Kean

In addition to these roles, Dr. Harrigan contributed
greatly to the development of intramural, extramural,
club and varsity sports at UVI. It was through his
involvement in all of these areas of the university that Dr.
Harrigan was able to build his large collection of

“My entire professional life has been centered at the
university,” said Dr. Harrigan, who took leave briefly to
complete his master’s degree at Indiana University in
1978 and doctoral degree at Columbia University in New
York in 1989. “There is a need to preserve the history of the
institution and if anyone has documents of archival
importance, I feel this is something that ought to be
preserved,” he said. Harrigan is presently writing a
history of sports and the development of student affairs
and services programs at UVI based both on his
experience as a student and administrator.

“We are so grateful to Dr. Harrigan for not only having the
interest and foresight to collect these important
materials, but for gifting them to the university so that as
an institution we can benefit and learn from our own
history,” stated Sharlene Harris, vice president of
Information Services & Institutional Assessment. “They
are a valuable asset to UVI and to our community.”

The Ronald E. Harrigan Collection is now part of the
digital holdings at the Ralph M. Paiewonsky Library.


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