LEGAL and personal documents that belonged to the late Samuel McPhetres are now collected in the CNMI Archives of Northern Marianas College following a ceremony on Thursday honoring the handover of his collection.
McPhetres was the Peace Corps director in Truk now known as Chuuk and was the Trust Territory archivist and coordinator for international organizations.
He was also the co-author of “History of Palau” and a civics textbook, “Citizenship and Self-Government in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, USA.” In addition, he was bureau chief of the Micronesian News Service and editor of the Micronesian Reporter.
A recipient of the Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities Award, he taught political science and history at NMC and was a former president of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce.
He passed away at the age of 82 on July 24, 2021.
Documents in the Sam McPhetres Collection include letters he sent to the United Nations, draft versions of the CNMI Constitution, political status documents from around Micronesia, and more.
“What you’re really doing is honoring legacy,” said NMC President Galvin Deleon Guerrero, speaking on the importance of archiving McPhetres’ work.
“He leaves behind an incredible legacy not just here at the college…not just here in the Northern Marianas but really throughout all of Micronesia. He was really a titan of research and scholarship,” Deleon Guerrero said.
Present at the ceremony were lawmakers, acting Gov. David M. Apatang, NMC students, Northern Marianas Humanities Council officials, and the family of the late McPhetres, including his wife, former NMC President Agnes M. McPhetres, and son Samuel McPhetres Jr.
“[NMC] was his home,” McPhetres Jr. said. “He started collecting other people’s stories and he had done this through decades because of how important maintaining those stories are so that they’re never lost…he loved having the knowledge and sharing the knowledge, and he loved teaching.”