STARKVILLE, Miss.--The Mississippi State University Foundation and the Ulysses S. Grant Association are establishing an endowment to provide continuing support for collaborative missions of the association and the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library.
The Grant Library, one of only a few presidential libraries located at a U.S. institution of higher learning, is housed in MSU's Mitchell Memorial Library.
The new Ulysses S. Grant Association Fund for Excellence is being made possible by an initial gift of $35,000 from the Grant Association.
"We continue to be very honored that the Ulysses S. Grant Association has entrusted Mississippi State with hosting the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library," said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. "Judge Frank Williams has been an integral part of that marvelous relationship."
Williams, a retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, is the longtime president of the U.S. Grant Association.
"Our university feels a deep bond with Judge Williams and his family, and we are extremely grateful for this most recent generous gift that will greatly enhance the ongoing work of managing and growing the Grant Library," Keenum added.
Frances Coleman, MSU Libraries dean, said the endowment will support the executive director's position and provide funding for graduate fellowships, scholarships, travel, special meetings, visiting scholars, and other related events and activities. The fund remains open for additional contributions, she added.
Coleman, a major advocate for the USGA since its arrival on campus in late 2008, said the university library system "is very pleased to continue its work with, and support of, the Grant Association and Grant Presidential Library."
The veteran library administrator expressed appreciation to Williams and members of the association "for this most recent gift to the MSU Foundation that further enhances the partnership of Mississippi State, our library and the association."
John F. Marszalek, the retired, nationally recognized MSU historian now serving as USGA executive director, and Williams led efforts to establish the fund. Both emphasized the mutual benefits and potentials for growth that should result from the excellence fund.
"The Ulysses S. Grant Association and Mississippi State University have a relationship that is known and admired nationwide," Marszalek said. "The establishment by the association of an endowment in the MSU Foundation demonstrates yet again the enduring nature of this bond."
Williams agreed, saying the partnership "represents further binding and mutual support between MSU and The Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library and Ulysses S. Grant Association.
"From the beginning of our tenure here at Mississippi State University, the association has been not only welcomed, but placed on the path for great achievements," Williams continued. "This could not have occurred without the unequivocal support of the MSU family."
Formal announcement of the excellence fund was made late last month during the Lincoln Symposium sponsored by the President's Office, MSU Libraries and Grant Library, along with the Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College and African American Studies Program of the College of Arts and Sciences.
During a symposium event, the USGA also established a separate $15,000 advancement fund in the MSU Foundation.