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 with Brucker at the library of Forest Park Hospital and College of Nursing. Iglauer helped establish the Brucker Scholarship Fund and has given annually to it.
Brucker knew firsthand the challenges of balancing one’s professional goals and personal life and always made time to help others along the way. As an undergraduate at Oberlin College, she became a member of the nation’s oldest academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa, while caring for her ill mother throughout her senior year. She went on to earn a master’s in German at Washington University and later worked in that university’s Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures.
Brucker later accepted a position as a library technician at an academic medical library in St. Louis and earned a second master’s degree from GSLIS, which she completed in 1994. At graduation, she received the Anne M. Boyd Award, which is awarded to a student considered by the faculty to be the outstanding graduate of the year. Brucker was soon hired by Illinois Benedictine College (now Benedictine University), but her career was cut short when she passed away in 1995.
“When Liz came to us, the thing I was impressed with is how ready she was to take off running,” said Mary Joyce Pickett (MS ’63), who worked closely with Brucker at Benedictine. “She was versed in and appreciative of technology, and at the same time appreciated the traditional where appropriate. We felt fortunate to have Liz on our team.”
Gifts from alumni and friends—like Pickett and Iglauer—have made it possible for working library staff to pursue formal LIS education, opening the door to professional career advancement. To help make future scholarships available to GSLIS students, please consider making a gift to the Elizabeth Jeanne Brucker Scholarship Fund. Give online today by clicking on our “Scholarships” support tab and selecting the fund, or contact our Office of Advancement for more information.