Donation to USM

Spines of the books Conduite d'une dame chretienne pour vivre saintement dans le monde,Regulae Societatis Jeus, andDoctrinae Iesuitarum praecipua capita.

In 1952, Woods' wife, Wilhelmina Busch, heriess to the Anheuser-Busch fortune, died.  After her death, he decided to make the move back to Mississippi.  His initial steps were to begin sending the art, furniture, and books he had collected in Europe.  In the June 19, 1952 minutes from a meeting of the Board of Institutions of Higher Learning the following statement is found. 

"Gift -- Mr. Sam E. Woods: Dr. [R.C.] Cook reported a gift consisting of museum pieces and valuable works of art from Mr. Sam E. Woods, a graduate of Mississippi Southern College, and now Consul in Munich, Germany. On motion by Mr. (H.G.) Carpenter these gifts were accepted and the College directed to write a letter of appreciation to Mr. Woods. The College was also authorized to make a special room in the Library to be known as the 'Sam E. Woods Room."

Plaque from the Sam E. Woods Room, Special Collections, University of Southern Mississippi. The plaque reads     Born in 1892 in Staarville, Texas, Sam Edison Woods' family moved to Purvis, Mississippi, where Woods graduated from high school. His education included studies at Valparaiso University, the University of Wisconsin and Massachusetts Institute of Technology before earning a bachelor of science degree from State Teachers College, now recognized as the University of Southern Mississippi. While the majority of Woods' career was spent internationally, he initially served in positions in Mississippi including the head of the department of manual arts at State Teachers College, the Director of Extension work for Grenada Bank and supervisor of rehabilitation for the Mississippi Department of Education. Woods served in the United States Marines during World War I and as head of vocational educational work for the US sixth army area in France. In addition to his military service overseas, Woods engaged in an extensive career of various international services throughout his life, including assistant trade commissioner in Czechoslovakia; commercial attaché in Prague, Czechoslovakia; commercial attaché at large in Berlin, Germany; consul general in Switzerland and consul general with personal rank of minister in Germany. After retirement from diplomatic service, Woods lived primarily in Germany. He died in Munich, Germany, in 1953.

Woods was happy to have his collection housed at Mississippi Southern College (now The University of Southern Mississippi).  The University was so pleased to have the collection reside at MSC that university adminstration offered to have a room designated to honor the donation and the collection. As Sam Woods wrote in a letter to MSC President R.C. Cook...

"With reference to the old books, I had no idea of having a special room set apart for them to be designated as the Sam E. Woods' room. This is an honor I never dreamed of, but I must confess I have received a lot of pleasure and satisfaction out of the idea since you suggested it."

Before finding its permanent home in the Special Collections department found in McCain Library & Archives, the Sam E. Woods Room was housed in a gymnasium and the old library (found in Kennard-Washington Hall). In recent years, the Woods Room has been remodeled to highlight selections from the collection, serve as an library instruction room for university classes, and celebrate the life of Sam E. Woods.