Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, has announced gifts totaling $10 million in support of the renovation and expansion of Lilly Library, one of the university's oldest and most architecturally significant buildings.
The contributions include $5 million from the Lilly Endowment, $2.5 million from William and Irene Lilly McCutchen and the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation, and $2.5 million from Peter and Virginia Lilly Nicholas. Originally completed in 1927, Lilly Library is named for philanthropist Ruth Lilly, the last great-grandchild of pharmaceutical magnate Eli Lilly, in recognition of her 1990 gift to "renovate and computerize" the library where her nieces Irene and Virginia had studied in the 1960s, when it was the Women's College Library. The planned renovation and expansion will include lighting and technology infrastructure upgrades and new furnishings that meet current standards of safety, accessibility, and usability. The renovation plan also calls for new spaces for collaborative research and academic service.
"These remarkably generous gifts from the Nicholas and McCutchen families and the grant from Lilly Endowment will enable us to dramatically improve the academic experience for Duke students and faculty, while preserving the charm and character of Lilly's most beloved spaces," said Deborah Jakubs, the Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and vice provost for library affairs.
"Our family's commitment to restore and expand Duke's library that bears the Lilly name comes from our hearts," said Irene McCutchen and Virginia Nicholas. "We are happy to continue to support the same exceptional education and student experience as Duke has provided for three generations of the Lilly family."