Remembering the Late Gerald H. Shinn

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gerald H. Shinn, UNCW professor emeritus of philosophy and religion, passed away Jan. 26. He joined the faculty in 1967 and taught generations of students during his 27-year career.

Shinn, the 1994 recipient of the prestigious O. Max Gardner Award presented by the UNC Board of Governors for his contributions to the "welfare of the human race," is remembered for creating the Albert Schweitzer Honors Scholar Award, the N.C. Living Treasure Award and the Museum of World Cultures.

Shinn Plaza, the gazebo-like structure between International House and Honors House, was dedicated in his name in 2001. The Gerald Shinn UNCW Merit Alumni Association Scholarship Endowment also honors him; it is awarded to students with demonstrated academic ability and a GPA of 3.4 or higher.

During a 2000 interview recorded by the UNCW Archives and Special Collections at Randall Library, Shinn was asked to describe the meaning behind UNCW's motto, discere aude. He said, "Discere means basically to discern or learn and aude means, well we get the word audacious from it, and it means to be courageous and the way to learn things is to be courageous... It's one of the best mottos I know for any university to have."


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Media Contact: Andrea Weaver, Office of University Relations,, 910-962-7631