In diversity of holdings, technological excellence, and the commitment to preserving the irreplaceable products of centuries of great minds, USC's libraries have steadily improved. Despite budget limitations in the past few years, the University administration, through careful channeling of funds, has ensured that the libraries would not fall behind. But that is not enough in an era when the needs of students, scholars, and citizens change so rapidly. The escalating costs of library materials now absolutely require private funding to keep these resources growing to meet the needs of a great university.
In 1995, upon receiving a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the University Libraries began their development effort in earnest as part of the University's Bicentennial Campaign. Dr. George D. Terry, Vice-Provost and Dean of Libraries and Information Systems, led the way in providing for a comprehensive development program and hired Carol Danner Benfield as Director of Development for the University Libraries. In 1990, the libraries had two endowments — the John Shaw Billings Endowment and the South Caroliniana Society Endowment — with a total value of just over $1 million. By the end of 1998, the libraries had established 25 separate endowment funds totaling over $4 million. This growth has been made possible by the support of many people, including alumni, University faculty and staff, and the citizens of South Carolina and the nation. On behalf of the thousands of students and scholars who use the University Libraries every day, the Office of Development expresses its thanks to those individuals whose generosity and foresight have helped make the University of South Carolina's libraries the premier academic research facility in the state and one of the best in the Southeast.
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