University of Oregon

Dean Emerita Deb Carver and Husband John Pegg '74 Make Estate Gift to UO Libraries

Unrestricted donation will support library innovations of the future

As Dean Emerita of the UO Libraries, Deborah Carver has a first-hand perspective on the enormous role that donor support plays in helping the university fulfill its mission.

“We were fortunate to have so many amazing donors who recognized that giving to the library is a great way to share your gift with the entire campus,” she says. “It opened my eyes to the impact these gifts can have.”

Throughout her time with the UO Libraries—nearly a quarter-century of service—Deb saw a lot of changes. UO enrollments grew by almost 70% and the library grew with them. 132,000 square feet were added to the main library building and it was named in honor of the Knight family. A new library branch was opened in the Global Scholars Hall, and work began on a major expansion and renovation of the Science Library. Card catalogs gave way to online catalogs; e-journals signaled a major shift in scholarly publishing models; instructional technologies played a bigger and bigger part in the classroom. Through it all, the professional role of librarians continued to evolve and expand.

“We always had big ideas in the libraries, but we were always resource-challenged,” Deb recalls. “There was a lot of pressure to provide adequate resources for our people to fulfill their vision.”

Deb is no stranger to a challenge. She and her husband John Pegg (MLS ’74) are avid climbers who have scaled all the major mountain peaks on the West Coast. Now that they’re both retired, they’ve also dedicated themselves to surmounting another goal: getting their estate plan in order. Here again, Deb’s experience with the UO Libraries was instructive.

“Our donors would often target their gifts to specific areas like new construction, student support, or teaching. Their amazing generosity was always appreciated, but there were other needs—lower-profile but no less vital—that we could only address through unrestricted gift funds.”

She recounts how one such gift inspired library administrators to develop a facilities master plan, one of the hallmark projects of her tenure as dean. With memories like these, it was an easy choice: in addition to their support of PathwayOregon, the UO’s scholarship program for low-income residents, Deb and John included a major gift to the UO Libraries in their estate plan. What’s more, they made their gift unrestricted.

“My hope is that this gift will help to close the gap between the library’s ambitions and its resources,” Deb explains. “Rather than trying to anticipate what challenges library leadership will face in the future, John and I decided to give an unrestricted gift. That way, they’ll not only have the additional resources, but also maximum flexibility to address those challenges.

“In my experience, an unrestricted gift can do momentous good. Not necessarily because of its size, but simply because it is unrestricted.”

Read more about Deb and John’s gift at Give to the UO.

 

 

 

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