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Sep. 5, 2017

A travel fund has been established at the iSchool in honor of an alumna who loved to travel and lived in many places, making friends with people around the world.

Although she lived in ten states and three foreign countries, Molly Dolan (MS '04) considered Champaign-Urbana "the true home of her heart." After earning her master's degree in library and information science in 2004, she stayed at Illinois, working as project coordinator for the Digital Libraries Education Program. During her time at Illinois, she built a database for the U of I Alumni Association, worked in Digital Content Creation digitizing rare books and photos, and partnered on a grant to develop a humanities data curation curriculum. In 2010, Dolan left Illinois for West Virginia University, where she served as a digital initiatives...

Oct. 31, 2016

To his many students, Professor F. W. "Wilf" Lancaster was a dedicated teacher and mentor with a down-to-earth quality, a father figure with warmth and hospitality, and one who always recognized their contributions to his research and writings.

He was so admired that in spring 2008, Library Trends published the Festschrift, "Essays Honoring the Legacy of F. W. Lancaster" (Volume 56, Issue 4). Edited by two of Lancaster's former students, Lorraine Haricombe (MS '88, PhD '92) and Keith Russell (MS '72), the Festschrift included contributions from Lancaster's friends, family, students, and colleagues, celebrating his accomplishments and paying homage to his life's work.

Lancaster, a...

Jan. 14, 2016

Elizabeth Jeanne Brucker (MS ’94) was known for her commitment to excellence in her education and career, and for her loyalty to friends and willingness to help others in any way she could. Though Brucker passed away not long after completing her master’s degree and embarking on her career as a librarian, her family and friends ensured that her values and commitment would not be forgotten.

Her legacy lives on today through the Elizabeth Jeanne Brucker Scholarship at GSLIS, which was established by Brucker, her family, and her coworkers. The scholarship supports GSLIS master’s students, and priority is given to individuals who work in library support positions, as Brucker did while pursuing her own master’s degree.

“It was typical of Liz, I think, that as a librarian she remembered the difficulties—especially financial—that she and other support staff members had experienced, and that she wanted to do something to remedy the situation,” said Carol Iglauer, who worked...

Oct. 30, 2015

For aspiring school librarians who pursue K-12 LIS Licensure, scholarships like those provided by The Louise C. Meckstroth Scholarship Fund can ease the challenge of balancing school, work, and family. Julie Derden (MS ’06), a teaching materials librarian at Illinois State University, established the Meckstroth Fund at GSLIS in 2011 as a way to recognize individuals who supported her throughout her education, and to honor her mother, a retired teacher librarian, by supporting the next generation of school librarians.

Louise Meckstroth—Derden’s mother—earned her master’s degree and became a school librarian after teaching high school for two decades. Her second career was marked by forward-thinking achievements, such as securing grant funding to retrofit her school for computer access and automating her...

Aug. 26, 2015

As a teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend, Taylor Willingham (1957-2011) had a positive influence on the people around her. She spent a decade as an adjunct lecturer for GSLIS, inspiring students and faculty alike through her innovative teaching and civic commitment. Her memory will live in the hearts of those whose lives she touched, and now through a generous gift, will be honored through a new lecture series at GSLIS.

As a tribute to Willingham, Susan Kumar (MS ’05) and husband Parameswaran Kumar have made a gift of $25,000 to establish the Taylor Willingham Lecture in Change Management. Susan met Willingham in 2003, and the two became close friends. The gift from the Kumars will be used to match gifts in support of the lecture series, which will focus...

Aug. 19, 2015

Thanks to a generous pledge from Lionelle Elsesser (AB '66, MS '67) and husband James Elsesser (BS '66, MS '67), GSLIS is one step closer to realizing its first faculty chair, the Endowed Chair in the History of Libraries and the Information Professions. Gifts of any size will be matched on a one-to-one basis up to a total contribution of $225,000 by the Elsessers, and the resulting $450,000 will complete the amount needed to fund the chair.

New gifts from alumni, matched by the Elsessers's pledge, will join the thoughtful contributions of those individuals who helped establish the endowment fund, including Don Davis (PhD '72) and Avis Davis, Mark Tucker (PhD '83) and Barbara Tucker, and Laurel Grotzinger (MS '58, PhD '64). “We’re delighted to work with other donors to wrap up what...

Jul. 9, 2015

When Ed Koval created the Anna Mae Koval Scholarship at GSLIS in honor of his late wife, he knew that the financial support for students would help them achieve their educational and career goals. The gift, however, is providing more than just financial support. It is proving inspirational as well.

Anna Mae Koval inspired countless young readers as a librarian and storyteller during her career. Her legacy continues to inspire others through scholarships for future librarians like master’s student Hailley Fargo. “The Koval Scholarship really motivates me,” said Fargo, one of four students who is currently receiving this support. “Being a recipient fuels me to keep pushing myself to do as best as I can.”

In her first year at...