Messenger - Vol. 2, No. 3, Page 4 Summer 1993 The Shaw touch In the basement of her home, JoAnne Collier Shaw, Delaware '60, '75M, keeps two sewing machines, two dozen or more amazingly technicolor petticoats, 200 chickens...well, models of chickens...and, of course, what else but an impressive assortment of eggs. A tour around Shaw's Newark, Del., home offers a colorful glimpse of this talented woman, who this year was named Outstanding Alumna of the Year. A bright array of drapes, upholstery and cushions betrays a passion for texture and fabric, and all are her own handiwork. The ceramic sculptures and the busts of her three daughters on display are her own creations-a skill honed while pursuing her master's degree in art and textiles. Sewing and dress design were early loves for Shaw. She still cherishes a childhood paper doll set, just as she keeps the tailor's dummy she used as an undergraduate. And, she still designs and makes her own clothes. Suspended from the ceiling in her basement workroom is an ivory, moire taffeta and velvet bridal gown Shaw made for a cousin, a creation soon to be entered in a design competition. Shaw sews clothes for another passion-square dancing. "You can go wild with those costumes," says this former fashion correspondent for a local square dance magazine. She and her husband, Charles, square dance every week, and they teach round and ballroom dancing at the Center for Creative Arts in Hockessin, Del. She also teaches aerobics daily and has been tap-dancing for several years. "I like to do so many things," Shaw says. "It's one of my problems." The chicken "problem" may be out of hand. Shaw can't remember when she began collecting the models, but there are so many of them now, made of every conceivable material, that they've claimed a room of their own. Still another passion is travel. Dominating one wall of her basement is a map of the United States. Red lines mark routes the Shaws have driven in their motor home. Over the years, they've made four, cross-country voyages, and one entire "lap." "It's a beautiful country," she says, and you sense that many of her patterns, colors and arrangements are inspired by impressions gathered on these cross-continental excursions. Upstairs, you pass through an addition Shaw conceived of herself-house design being another outgrowth of her human resources training. Broad windows overlook a perennial garden that offers blooms throughout the season, in a setting featuring patios, stone pathways, rockeries, a bird sanctuary and-most arresting of all-a sapphire blue crystal on a plinth. This summer, she is taking a holiday in England, exploring outlying country gardens. A board member of the Human Resources Alumni Association (HRAA) for five years, Shaw served on an ad hoc committee that was instrumental in securing state funding for the expansion of Alison Hall, which houses the College of Human Resources. She organized relentless lobbying with Delaware legislators for support of this addition to Alison Hall. "In fact," she recalls, "a local representative declared that if one more alumnus called, he definitely would not vote for the bill." As chairperson of the 75th Anniversary Fund Committee, which was created for last year's celebration and is ongoing, Shaw is helping to raise money for a new lounge in Alison Hall. She has organized house tours, silent auctions, visits to museums and factories and day trips to the Waldorf Astoria. And, she's preparing and hosting a $100 dinner in support of this latest project. Shaw spent a year on the faculty of the Charles E. Ellis School in, Newtown, Pa., and taught in adult education for the Newark and Seaford school districts throughout the 1960s. Last year, she was a part-time instructor in the College of Human Resources. Active in the American Home Economics Association and numerous other groups, she also has been involved in local politics, running for the state senate in 1976. Shaw's relationship with her college is a close one, and now it's a family affair as well. Her youngest daughter, Julia, Delaware '91, walked straight into a New York computer company after graduation, where she applies computer technology to dress design. Last November, the Human Resources Alumni Association acknowledged the special bond JoAnne Collier Shaw has with her college by making her the first recipient of its Appreciation Award. Judging from her continued efforts on behalf of her alma mater-and indeed the whole, colorful fabric of her life-that appreciation is mutual. -Steven O'Connor, Delaware '94 Ph.D.