Walker family donation poses challenge to library lovers in 2020 True Blue Give

A generous donation from the family of a former MTSU president will jumpstart a dynamic fundraising campaign to celebrate the university library’s 20th anniversary.

Through its foundation, the family of the late James E. Walker will provide a 100 percent match for each dollar donated to the library that bears his name up to $20,000 to help launch the third annual True Blue Give Feb. 12-14.

“Every donation to the Walker Library during the True Blue Give helps the library further its student success and professional development efforts,” said interim library dean Jason Martin.

The money raised will be funneled into four different funds, all of which replenishes and advances the James E. Walker Library’s services:

Library Enrichment Fund, which is used for technology, books and other resources;

David Robinson Scholarship, a stipend named posthumously for a former systems librarian;

Special Collections, for the acquisition of rare and old books, as well as the repository for the Margaret Lindsley Warden Collection for Equine Studies and the Lee and Sophia Owen Eudora Welty Collection;

Library Student Emergency Fund, to provide library student workers with small grants for immediate needs.

Paul Wydra, director of development initiatives, said the library, as is true of other aspects of MTSU, depends on private support from alumni, friends and community members.

“Every gift, large or small, helps the library fulfill its commitment to the campus community in providing safe study areas, resources and technology that today’s students need,” Wydra said.

James E. Walker, MTSU’s president from 1991 to 2000, was the driving force behind the creation of a modern library. Its predecessor, the Todd Library, consisted of two buildings, one built in 1958 and the other in 1967.

Seeing a need to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding digital age, Walker pressed for a revised university master plan to include a new facility. The formal opening ceremony took place April 19, 1999. The building was dedicated to Walker in November 2001.

Donations can be made online at www.mtsu.edu/truebluegive, or text MTSU13 to 71777.

For more information, contact Wydra at 615-898-5329 or paul.wydra@mtsu.edu.

— Gina Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

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