Library Program Support Funds

The library is challenged to support the many creative ideas and scholarly research activities fostered by faculty and students. Program support funds help underwrite new technologies, library operations, improved facilities, and book preservation initiatives. They are crucial in enriching the academic life of the university.

Minimum contribution: $100,000

Giving to Endowments: How it Works

When you give to an endowed fund, the University invests your gift as part of its overall endowment portfolio. Each year, a portion of the value of your endowed fund is paid out to support the fund’s purpose (collections, programs). Any remaining earnings are used to build the endowment’s value. In this way, an endowment fund can grow and provide support for its designated purpose in perpetuity.

Why minimums?

Endowments work best when the size of the endowment is large enough that its earnings can truly underwrite its intended purpose. The Board of Trustees approves all of W&L’s endowment minimums. The minimums are calculated based on how much it costs annually to fund the activity the endowment is supporting. However, a new donor may join existing endowments that share the donor’s goals and objectives if the gift is not able to meet the minimum needed within the specified time allowed. This allows existing endowments to grow and thus support the entire campus.

To discuss a library program support fund, please contact KT Vaughan, University Librarian.

The following donors have specified to support library programs.

Several of these funds also allow acquisition of library materials in support of the programmatic activities:

Anne and Edgar Basse Jr. Endowment

The Anne and Edgar Basse Jr. Endowment was created in 1988 to support the varied activities of the University’s special collections and archival programs in the Leyburn Library. Mr. Basse is an alumnus of the Class of 1939.

Irving B. (Buck) Bricken Library Endowment Fund

The Irving B. (Buck) Bricken Library Endowment Fund was established in 2000 through the will of Mr. Bricken to provide funding for the general operations of the University’s library system and the acquisition of materials and equipment.

The Barbra B. and Hal F. Higginbotham Library Endowment

— The Hal F. and Barbra B. Higginbotham Library Endowment was initiated in 1986 to provide financial support for the library program, particularly in the area of acquisitions. Hal F. Higginbotham, Class of 1968, and his wife, Barbra, are residents of New York City.

— The Hal F. and Barbra Buckner Higginbotham University Librarian Endowment was established on the occasion of the 50th Reunion of the Class of 1968. The endowment supports Washington and Lee’s Library and names the University Librarian position. The purpose of the endowment is to support special opportunities and needs of the Library in enriching the University’s academic mission. As such, earnings from the endowment are intended to provide flexible support for the Library beyond the capacity of the annual operating budget. Read more here about this gift.


James A. Hight Library Endowment Fund

The James A. Hight Library Fund was established in 2013. The income from this endowment is to be used for acquisitions and other needs of the University Library as determined by the University Librarian.

The Walter J. and Donna C. Maytham Endowment

The Walter J. and Donna C. Maytham Endowment is a permanently endowed fund at Washington and Lee, providing support to the University Library to assist in meeting the challenges of providing for new initiatives in information accessibility and changing technologies, and for the implementation of new technological tools and means for the acquisition, analysis, and dissemination of information and knowledge in support of the University’s academic program, and student and faculty research and scholarship.

Herbert Pollack Endowment Fund

Dr. Herbert Pollack, Class of 1925, in recognition of the importance of a library to an academic institution, made provision in his estate plan to create an endowment to support the James G. Leyburn Library. The purpose of this endowment is to provide funding to support the introduction of new systems and services to keep pace with changing technology and campus needs.

The Robert W. Root Endowment Fund

Robert W. Root, Class of 1942, established a special endowment in 1991 to support an annual lecture series on the mind. Guest speakers are selected on a rotating basis by the departments of psychology, philosophy, and religion, as well as the cognitive science program. In addition, the fund supports library acquisitions in the field of parapsychology and related studies. Books and other materials are purchased for the library annually with income from the endowment fund.

Telford Foundation

The Telford Foundation: Support for Telford Professorship, Telford Science Library and science-related library materials

  • The Robert Lee Telford Lectureship Program was created in 1985 by Robert Lee Telford of Naples, Florida, Class of 1922, and is continued through a trust held by others which was established by Mr. Telford’s estate at the time of his death in 1989.
  • The Robert Lee Telford Professorship was established in 1991 by the estate gift of Robert Lee Telford of Naples, Florida, Class of 1922. The principal supporting the professorial endowment is in the form of a trust held by others.
  • The Robert Lee Telford Science Library, located in the Science Center, was named in honor of his generous support of the study of science at Washington and Lee University. A native of Lewisburg, West Virginia, Telford worked as an engineer and president of a large engineering firm. His gift established an endowment for the Telford Library.

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