Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Endowment fund to help preserve OU history
By Jeff Samoray, OU Web Writer
Though Oakland University is relatively young with its origins in the late 1950s, its history is in danger of quietly slipping away. However, members of OU’s charter class of 1963 have established the Charter Class Endowment Fund, which seeks to preserve and catalog OU’s history for future generations.
Important pieces of OU’s past have accumulated in Kresge Library over the years. Boxes are overflowing with materials such as newspaper articles, news releases, photographs, university board meeting minutes, faculty records and department files. The materials are the unrecorded history of Oakland and tell the story of how the university was founded.
Unfortunately, much of this material is not properly archived or preserved. Many photographs capture interesting, yet unidentified events and people and are not dated. Newspaper clippings are yellowing and in danger of disintegrating. Materials are not organized. Many items also are stacked on shelves or remain in boxes, further contributing to their deterioration.
The Charter Class Endowment Fund will support critical archiving and preserving activities such as professional resources to lead the initiative, technology to digitize the collection, and materials for preserving the pictures, clippings and newspapers.
“The funds will be dedicated toward the organization and preservation needs of the archive as well as identify what materials are available and how to access them,” said A. Michael Deller, CAS ’63, director of the Library Network in Southgate, Mich., and member of OU’s charter class reunion committee, which helped establish the endowment fund. “Archiving primary materials is something that takes time and money.
“Those of us who participated in the charter class reunion (held Oct. 3-5) feel this endeavor is very important. We don’t perceive this as a charter class-only project, but rather a university-wide effort. The project holds the same importance to the class of 2004 as it does for the class of 1963. All of us who value the significant amount of time we spent on OU’s campus have an interest in preserving the history of the institution.”
To make a gift to the endowment fund, you may use the university’s new online giving method to conveniently complete a credit card or debit card transaction. To do so, simply click on “Give to OU” from the OU home page. Once there, you can designate your gift to the Charter Class Endowment Fund. Checks also may be mailed to Oakland University, Charter Class Endowment Fund, John Dodge House, Rochester, MI 48309-4401. Your gift may qualify for a tax deduction on federal and state income tax returns. Contact your financial adviser for complete details.
You also can help through donations of personal OU memorabilia such as yearbooks, blue books, newspapers, photographs or apparel. You may have one-of-a-kind items that cannot currently be found in the Kresge Library archives. To make a memorabilia donation, contact Julie Voelck, associate dean of Kresge Library, at (248) 370-2486 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for delivery of items.
Visit the Oakland University Alumni Association Web site to learn more about alumni news, events, activities and the benefits of membership.