OU athletics department to donate $250 thousand for libraries

Thursday, April 11th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The University of Oklahoma's athletics department will give yearly donations of $250,000 to the university's libraries.

``This partnership is unprecedented in Oklahoma and the nation,'' said Sul H. Lee, dean of the university's libraries. ``Those gaining the most will be future students and faculty.''

The Athletics Department's gift will come from royalties from athletic merchandise sales. This year, about $850,000 is expected from the royalties, athletic director Joe Castiglione said Wednesday.

``We wanted to be able to reinvest back into the university,'' he said. ``None of this will come from our operating budget. It's not taking anything away from athletic programs.''

Debra Engel, director of public services for University Libraries, said the endowment will be used to establish projects that promote academics. She was unaware of any specific projects scheduled.

This year, the newly established endowment directly supports an exhibit that opened Wednesday at Bizzell Memorial Library. The ``Books that Inspire'' exhibit, in its second year, features 52 books recommended by OU faculty, coaches and staff.

Castiglione said he selected James Thurber's ``The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'' because it changed his perspective on life's possibilities.