This will be my last message as Chair of the Friends of the University Libraries. I assumed this role in June 2021 and following the Friends’ recent retreat, I am passing the torch to my friend and colleague Lissa Jones-Lofgren, who will serve as the next Chair.
It has been a tremendous honor to serve as the chair of this organization for the past two years and I have enjoyed communicating with you during most of my tenure as Chair. While there were challenges, I am very proud that our board continued to stay engaged and create great Friends Forum events, which many of you attended over the past two years either online or in person.
Part of the reason I have enjoyed serving on the Friends board is that our libraries are a true treasure at the University and I am honored to be able to support and uplift their great work. I thank all of you who support the Libraries financially and in other ways. The Libraries are blessed with a great staff and great leadership.
The current Dean of the Libraries, Lisa German, commented during the Friends retreat that libraries are stewards of the past and must innovate for the future, which really resonated with me. Lisa shared several philanthropic priorities during the retreat and the effort to endow a full-time archivist for the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives inspired me while watching this video. So much so that before the video was over, I pulled out my phone and made a recurring donation. This important archive is an example of how libraries are stewards of the past and I believe it is worthy of your support.
My final act as Chair will be to request that you consider making a donation to support this important archive as well.
Stay well, safe and hopeful and I look forward to seeing many of you at our 2023-24 Friends Forum beginning this fall.
—Amelious N. Whyte, Jr. Ph.D. Chair, Friends Board of Directors