By JESSICA R. ALLEN
Virtually unknown to the students is a valuable stamp
collection on display in Prescott Memorial Library on the fourth floor.
Tech President Dan Reneau said the collection was created
by a former Tech professor.
“Dr. Gustaf Panula was a professor of chemical
engineering at Louisiana Tech ... and taught me as a student in chemical
engineering in many courses,” Reneau said.
Reneau said he and his fellow classmates enjoyed Panula’s
classes and also said Panula was interested in the gaining of knowledge.
“Dr. Panula was an intellectual type, and he did a lot of
collecting,” Reneau said. “He had a wonderful book collection.”
Reneau said Panula did more than book collecting.
“He did stamp collecting, too,” Reneau said. “So the
Panula United Nations Stamp Collection, which is on the fourth floor of the
library, is a direct result of his collection.”
Reneau said it was Panula’s wife’s decision to give the
stamp collection to Tech.
“Mrs. Panula ... made the donation of the stamp
collection to the library,” Reneau said.
Reneau said he appreciates the donation and will treasure
“I think [the stamps are] a wonderful gift to this
university and a great way to remember someone who made such an important
contribution to the university.”
Peggy Carter, university archivist and librarian, said
she would like students to know of the collection.
“We want to leave it open,” Carter said. “It’s already
gotten some media attention when the donation actually took place.”
She said the donation was made because of the
relationship shared between Reneau and the Panulas.
“He gave them because Dr. Reneau was one of his students
in chemical engineering,” Carter said. “And because Mrs. Panula thought so much
of Dr. Reneau.”
Tom Soto, assistant archivist and a Tech graduate, said
the value of the collection is unknown.
“There’s no telling how much these are worth,” Soto said.
“If you get these certified, instead of being worth $20, it may be worth
He said Mrs. Panula donated only a portion of the stamps.
“She didn’t give us the whole set,” Soto said. “There
were [approximately] 59 stamps in this collection, and we have 39.”