A gift from the Anschutz Foundation, of Denver, and former Kansas University Chancellor Gene Budig and his wife, Gretchen, will support an award to honor an outstanding librarian each year.
The Budigs, who live in Isle of Palms, S.C., and the foundation will each contribute $25,000 to establish an endowed fund for the award.
The first recipient of the $2,000 award is Sarah Goodwin Thiel, KU digital imaging librarian and chairwoman of KU Libraries’ Exhibits Program. She was recognized for her role in creating the Library Gallery in Watson Library, which features multimedia exhibits of items from collections, combined with related research from faculty and students.
“She is excellent in what she does,” said Lorraine Haricombe, KU’s dean of libraries.
The gallery Thiel created, which is right of the main entrance on the third floor of Watson Library, has become something of a social gathering spot in the library, Haricombe said.
Budig said he has supported libraries for years at KU, because there are no great universities without superior libraries. He said he and his wife have supported eight other similar awards for faculty members at KU, because they wanted to express their gratitude.
“I saw that the University of Kansas had a wealth of exceptional people who deserved to be recognized, especially in tough times economically,” Budig said.
Philip and Nancy Anschutz, of Denver, created the Anschutz Foundation in 1983. Philip Anschutz earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at KU in 1961.
“We are pleased to be associated with Gene and Gretchen Budig in this effort to support one of the finest libraries in the state of Kansas,” said Philip Anschutz in a written statement.
Haricombe said she appreciated the donors’ willingness to support libraries and the faculty.
“We have excellent expertise in our library faculty here,” she said.
The gift will contribute to Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, which is scheduled for a public launch next spring.