LAWRENCE — A new University of Kansas Libraries award will honor an outstanding KU librarian each year.
The Anschutz Foundation, of Denver, and former KU Chancellor Gene Budig and his wife, Gretchen, each provided $25,000 to KU Endowment to create the endowed fund. The Budigs reside in Isle of Palms, S.C.
“There are no great universities without superior libraries,” said Gene Budig, KU chancellor from 1981 to 1994. “With that belief, Gretchen and I support libraries at KU, and have for years. It is especially important for undergraduate students to learn from the priceless treasures therein. Effective use of a great library opens the doors of opportunity; it assures intellectual growth and access to modern-day opportunities. Phil Anschutz shares our views and commitment, as reflected by this award.”
Philip and Nancy Anschutz, of Denver, founded The Anschutz Foundation in 1983. Philip Anschutz earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from KU in 1961.
“We are pleased to be associated with Gene and Gretchen Budig in this effort to support one of the finest libraries in the state of Kansas,” said Philip Anschutz.
The gifts to establish the fund will count toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the comprehensive campaign scheduled for an April 2012 public kickoff.
The inaugural recipient is Sarah Goodwin Thiel, KU digital imaging librarian and chair of KU Libraries’ Exhibits Program. Thiel was selected for her leadership role in creating the Library Gallery in Watson Library. The gallery — the major exhibition space for KU Libraries — features multimedia exhibits of KU Libraries collections with related research by KU faculty and students.
“The Anschutz and Budig families have created a legacy on this campus through their support of its programs, projects and people,” said Lorraine J. Haricombe, dean of KU Libraries. “The gifts to create the new Anschutz-Budig Outstanding Librarian Award show a clear understanding of and commitment to the vital role libraries and librarians play here at KU.”
KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.