Winton Presents Sewanee with a Gift of Books

February 12, 2016
by Paula Whisenant

Photo: Cal Winton, V-C McCardell, and Will Winton
Cal Winton, John McCardell, Will Winton

Sewanee’s most recent gift-in-kind, measuring 11 feet long, weighing 300 pounds and covering the length and breadth of British history, arrived‌ from England on Feb. 5, 2016. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography in 61 volumes and 63,000 pages was donated to the University of the South by Sewanee alumnus Dr. Calhoun Winton, C’48, and his wife, Cynthia S. Putnam, in memory of Putnam’s grandmother, Mary Moore Sanborn (1881-1958), who was from Franklin, Tenn.

Spanning two millennia, the collection provides short but in-depth essays about the people who have contributed to the history of Great Britain. The collection will be housed in the duPont Library on the campus of the University. While the duPont Library has a subscription to the electronic version of the dictionary, the Winton gift allows researchers to work with the hard-bound volumes, which have the added historical benefit of being a version that will eventually have its own historic value. 

“This is a tremendous resource for our professors and students,” said Vice-Chancellor John M. McCardell at a recent brunch and ceremony in honor of Calhoun’s gift. “We are truly thankful that you chose to honor us and the memory of Mrs. Sanborn with this complete edition.”

After graduating from Sewanee with a B.A. in English, Winton received a master’s degree from Vanderbilt in 1950, followed by a master’s from Princeton in 1954. He earned his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1955. He is a professor emeritus at the University of Maryland and has written several books, including John Gay and the London Theatre. Winton was a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography in 2004.

“Sewanee is honored to have among its alumni people like Professor Calhoun Winton,” said McCardell. “Someone with such a distinguished career in his field, quite simply, gives us bragging rights. And for one of our own to provide us with such a valuable and meaningful gift says something, as well, of Sewanee. It proves that ‘once a Sewanee son, always a Sewanee son,’ and we are grateful that you chose today to visit campus, along with your son, Will, to bestow Sewanee with a gift that will be beneficial to so many.”

‌"Sewanee gave me so much,” said Winton. “This is a small token of my appreciation for my alma mater."