Gift Inspires Others
Professor’s legacy takes on new dimensions
Pioneering American historian Louise Wade challenged thousands of UO students and students and colleagues to do their best work. Now her legacy is taking on new dimensions through her estate gift for the UO’s Knight Library.
“Professor Wade valued and supported Knight Library, which houses the bulk of our general collections and most of our historical special collections and archives” says Adriene Lim, dean of libraries and Philip H. Knight Chair. “She attached no restrictions to her gift other than stipulating we use it for Knight Library. I’m applying the funds strategically to improve our facilities and programs for students and faculty.”
One example is the library’s new digital scholarship program. “Louise Wade is making this a reality,” Lim says. “Her gift allows us to have a sustainable program, which is crucial because faculty members and students in the humanities and social sciences are using digital technologies and new methods to transform the way they think about and do research.
Now the library has the expertise, content, and resources to help advance those efforts.”
Wade’s gift is also providing support to digitize collections, upgrade the library’s historic Browsing Room, build new exhibition tables and bookcases needed by Special Collections and University Archives, and replace worn-out task chairs used by student workers.
“A library is about so much more than the end products of scholarship and research,” Lim says, “and this will never change. A historian and library supporter like Louise Wade would understand and appreciate the library’s evolving role and care about that very much.”
Friends say Wade, who died in March 2016 at the age of 87, had a special knack for getting others moving, so it’s likely she would also be pleased about how her gift has affected the UO’s dean of libraries personally.
“A gift like this, from a person who gave her life to the university, is absolutely amazing,” Lim says. “She has inspired me to make an estate gift as well.”