Christian Meyer

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — For 46 years, Joel Nichols was Winthrop University’s full-time photographer, capturing the history of the school until his retirement in 2008.

During the Fall semester, the Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections put together an exhibit to celebrate the life and work of Nichols, who passed away in December 2020.

The exhibit, titled “Just One More…Celebrating the Life and Work of Joel Nichols,” documents his dedication in capturing hundreds of thousands of photos over decades of work at Winthrop.

“He worked until he retired in 2008, it was a really long career here. He took pictures of everything, it was really great. He was everywhere and always taking a picture and he was always saying ‘just one more,’ which is why we decided to call our exhibit ‘Just One More,'” said Gina Price, director of the Louise Pettus Archives.

The exhibit features hundreds of photos, which he had taken throughout his time at Winthrop, where he witnessed a number of historic events at the university, including documenting the integration of Black students in 1964 and male students in 1972.

Jill Stuckey, director of printing and creative services, said she remembers seeing Nichols, nicknamed “Nick,” at many university events.

“Nick would go to any campus event, no matter what time it was to take pictures and he even went on trips with the music department and other departments that would go and travel places, just so he could capture everything. He did a great job of capturing the everyday life of Winthrop students and the big events like Christmas tree lightings and stuff like that,” Stuckey said.

“When he left we lost a huge amount of history, because he had been here for more than 40 years.”

The exhibit was on display from mid-September until Homecoming weekend. There were also a number of mini-exhibits available throughout the Winthrop campus, which were on display in the Dacus Library, the DiGiorgio Campus Center and Tillman Hall.

In addition, the Louise Pettus Archives hosted a Facebook Live event on Nov. 7, as part of Winthrop’s Homecoming and Reunion week, which gave viewers the opportunity to hear from Janice Nichols — the wife of Joel Nichols — about the stories behind some of his work.