Denison University in Granville, Ohio, has announced a $7.5 million gift from alumna Sue Douthit O'Donnell ('67) and her husband, Bob, in support of renovations to its William Howard Doane Library.
The majority of the gift, $5.7 million, will be used to renovate both sections of the library complex, including a restoration of the original entrance featuring a new lobby and reception space, and a renovation of the complex's 1936 building, which includes the President's Room, a gallery, and third-floor reading rooms. Interior work on the 1958 sections will include renovations to the basement, second, third, and fourth floors, as well as the government documents section.
"Books and documents are important not just because of what they contain but also for themselves," said Douthit O'Donnell, whose mother was head reference librarian at the State of Ohio Library and whose father was an editor and writer. "For example, it is important both to preserve Denison's collection of medieval manuscripts as historical documents and to share them as research sources. Libraries also are special places where people come together and collaborate. I am excited and proud to help enable preservation of the Denison library building."
The gift also will provide funding for Denison's recently added academic program in narrative nonfiction writing, which combines literary attention to storytelling with in-depth, fact-based research. "This gift is helping to fund exceptional opportunities for our students," said Jack Shuler, associate professor of English and director of the program. "We are helping our students connect with professions in writing, funding internships and travel, and bringing speakers to campus to share their own stories, industry information, and networks."
(Photo credit: Denison University)