A $95,000 bequest from the estate of Joseph R. Ernest has established a program in Judaism and Jewish culture and heritage at Kansas University, James Muyskens, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, announced Monday. The gift honors the memory of Ernest's wife, the late Dorothy Stein Ernest.
"The bequest will allow us to establish an annual lectureship, create new Judaic studies courses, expand resources for the teaching of Hebrew and supplement library resources in Judaica," Muyskens said. "It will help the college and the departments within the college to create and expand the interdisciplinary courses that focus on Judaic studies."
Joseph R. Ernest spent 44 years as an employee of Graybar Electric Co. Inc., a manufacturer of electrical equipment. He began his career in the company's mail department in Chicago, then held various managerial positions at offices in St. Louis, Seattle, Kansas City and Chicago.
After retiring from the company in 1969, he lived in Acapulco, Mexico; Laredo, Tex.; and, finally, in Mendocino, Calif. He died in September 1988, during a trip to Zurich, Switzerland.
The gift has been included in Campaign Kansas, KU's fund drive to raise $177 million.