For the past four years, Special Collections & Archives has had the great good fortune to work closely with the Z. Smith Reynolds Library Development Officer, Mika Payden-Travers. Mika was and is a superstar when it comes to connecting donors with their donation dreams, and helped SCA collaborate with them to achieve their vision. Thanks to donations of direct financial support and endowments, SCA has been able to expand its collection development to strengthen our rare book and documentary photograph collections, hire help for cataloging, digitizing, and processing of archives collections, and develop outreach programs for both the Wake Forest community as well as disadvantaged students in the area. This support, which Mika facilitated, will drive our work for many years to come through new collections, exhibits, programming, and oral history interviews.

Mika truly understood what Special Collections is all about and how we can build community and relationships between the past, present, and future. It’s about people–the people who create the collections, those of us who steward them, and those who find a connection with them. We appreciate everything she has done for us, and are very glad she will remain in the Winston-Salem area where she can continue to witness her impact.

Mika reviewing an artist’s book about Rising Meadow Farm created by documentary photographer Houck Medford, 2021