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Friends of the Library: Past Contributions and GIfts

Friends of the Library Contributions

The Friends of the Spring Hill College Library are an active group.  On this page, read through some of our previous activities, purchases for the library, and events that we have held.

Books stacked on a shelf

Friends Acquire Portier's Last Will and Testament

Photo of Michael Portier

Michael Portier (1795-1859) was SHC's founder and Mobile's first Roman Catholic bishop.

Born in France in 1795, he immigrated to the United States in 1817. After completing his studies at St. Mary's Seminary (Baltimore), he was ordained for the priesthood in the Diocese of St. Louis and was consecrated bishop in 1825. He remains today a central figure in Mobiles history. In addition to founding what is now Spring Hill College, he also established the Visitation Convent and girls' school in Mobile, oversaw construction of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, and founded a hospital, presently known as Providence.

Representing a private collector, The Neal Auction Company (New Orleans) contacted the College to determine its interest in obtaining the Portier will. Immediately, the Friends of Spring Hill College Library purchased it. The will outlines the Bishop's wish to give his estate to Spring Hill College, and directs the College to provide $50 yearly to each of his two sisters. The document is housed in the College Library Archives.