Andy Griffith Donates Collection to Carolina

Andy Griffith is donating his collection of momentos from his extraordinary career to his alma mater, the University of North Carolina.

Andy Griffith to Donate Collection to UNC (AP)

Photo Andy Griffith sits in front of a bronze statue of Andy and Opie from the 'Andy Griffith Show,' Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003, after the statue was unveiled during a ceremony in Raleigh, N.C. Griffith's 40-year acting career has been largely defined by Sheriff Andy Tayor, who he played in the show. (AP Photo/Bob Jordan) Andy Griffith will donate manuscripts, television and film footage and other memorabilia documenting his 55-year career to his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “I am proud of my connections to Carolina and pleased to know that some results from a lifetime of work on television, film, stage and recordings will have a permanent home in Chapel Hill,” Griffith said in a statement Friday.

A native of Mount Airy, Griffith is best known for his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show.” He earned a bachelor’s degree in music from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1949.

Griffith’s personal collection will become part of UNC’s Southern Historical Collection, which contains more than 15 million items in 4,900 collections, the school said. “Andy Griffith is a North Carolina treasure and a national folk hero,” said Chancellor James Moeser. “This generous donation will ensure that his legacy is forever intertwined with a university that is proud of his accomplishments and grateful for all that he has given back.”

Griffith is indeed a national treasure. “The Andy Griffith Show” remains, in my view, the best show ever to air on television (especially the first five seasons, which co-starred Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife). He was very successful as a stand-up comedian, his stage show and movie “No Time for Sergeants” is hilarious, “Matlock” was hugely popular, and he is a pretty fair dramatic actor as well.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.