Celebration of Graham B. Purcell’s 100th birthday to be held May 3

The legacy of Graham B. Purcell Jr. will be celebrated in Moffett Library at 4 p.m. on May 3, where family, friends and other members of the community will come together to share stories and memories of Purcell.

The event will also include food, and for those over 21, wine.

Cortny Bates, associate university librarian for technical services, said she thought it would be nice to celebrate his life, but also show the documents the library has from his congressional days.

“About three years ago I decided it would be really cool, on his 100th birthday to celebrate his life, but also to just kind of advertise we have these materials for research,” Bates said.

Moffett Library has 141 boxes of Purcell’s congressional documents from his time being a representative. They also have personal belongings Purcell’s family have brought in over the years.

“His son, Blaine Purcell, comes in on a pretty regular basis and will bring stuff and tell me stories about his father. It’s really fascinating,” Bates said.

Bates said she knows young people don’t know much about him, but she hopes coming out to the celebration will help.

“They actually named the post office downtown after him, so he’s kind of a big deal,” Bates said, “But I know a lot of younger people aren’t aware of him, so I want the event to let people know about the things he did while he was in office and while he was alive.”

Bates said she encourages people to come out and celebrate his life, and the event will be a more personal than others they have put on in the past.

“I am really excited to hear some of his friends and family tell stories about him. So, it will be more personal, and just really neat,” Bates said.

Marina Candelaria, radiology senior, said she isn’t aware of who Purcell was, or that the library had documents for research.

“It is good they are showcasing that they do have materials for research to the community, as well as celebrating a local man who seemed to be really fascinating,” Candelaria said.