Renowned professor creates endowed professorship and support fund in the Wayne State University School of Information Sciences – [email protected]

Robert P Holley

A gift from academic and library thought leader Robert P. Holley will establish an endowment chair in library science, create a new support fund for the School of Information Sciences, and increase its scholarship fund.

Respected academic and librarian thought leader Robert P. Holley recently made a seven-figure bequest to the School of Information Sciences (SIS). He is the largest donor in the history of the school. His donation will establish an endowment chair in library science, create a new support fund for the school, and increase his scholarship fund.

Holley served at Wayne State Libraries for 17 years, beginning in 1988 when he was appointed associate dean of university libraries and through 2015, by which time he also served as chief collection development officer, professor and director of the library science program and interim dean .

“This generous donation will shape the School of Information Sciences for years to come,” said interim dean Tom Walker. “Bob’s generosity will enhance our ability to attract the best and brightest faculty and students at a time when the field of information science is radically evolving. We are grateful for his vision and philanthropy.”

By structuring his gift into endowment funds, Holley has created a legacy that will benefit SIS over time. The funds are invested and the revenues are used by the Dr. Funding for the Robert P. Holley Foundation Professorship in Library Science and the new SIS Support Fund, as well as funding for the existing Dr. Increase Robert P. Holley Foundation Scholarship. Holley hopes that the endowed chair will support a faculty member in librarianship, preferably one with a focus on collections development, publishing, and scholarly communication.

Throughout his career, Holley found it rewarding to take on the challenges of librarianship and became a national thought leader in library governance, intellectual freedom and collections development. After his retirement, Holley has continued to be actively involved in the field, speaking at national conferences and contributing to professional library journals.

Holley earned a Ph.D. in French Literature from Yale University and a Masters of Library Science from Columbia University. In both endeavors and as a student, Holley was the beneficiary of scholarship funds. Without this support, he would not have been able to continue his studies, and he firmly believes that financial circumstances should not limit the ambitions of hardworking, bright students. In 2000 he directed the Dr. Robert P. Holley Foundation Scholarship to support library science students living in urban areas who plan to work with underrepresented populations.

Current recipient Megan Taylor appreciates the financial support provided by the Holley Foundation Scholarship. “This scholarship will allow me to continue my education in a more affordable way,” she said. Holley’s recent gift commitment will provide additional support for the endowed scholarship.

Holley has also earmarked a portion of his donation to provide support funds to the school. “Having been on faculty myself, I know that chance opportunities often arise and a little reserve funding can make all the difference. I wanted to make sure the school got that special kind of support,” he said.

Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson expressed his appreciation for Holley’s support of the school. “DR. Holley has built a legacy at Wayne State University through excellence in library system management and through his impact on students and faculty as a professor. We are fortunate to be the recipients of this gift,” said Wilson.

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