$2.8 million estate gift to WTAMU’s library benefits campus and Panhandle region

Here’s where the gift came from and what it includes.
Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 3:32 PM CDT
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CANYON, Texas (KFDA) - Today West Texas A&M University announced a $2.8 million estate gift from former Texas Poets Laureate and assistant professor of English at the university, Jenny Lind Porter Scott.

The University’s Texas Poets’ Corner space in the Cornette Library already holds around 2,000 items like a collection of rare books, art and furnishings all donated by Scott.

“The idea of special collections is key to us, to WT and our libraries because these will make the library distinctive amount other libraries... Special collections in their very special interests will actually glue the library together for the region and for scholars from other places,” said Walter Wendler, president of WTAMU.

Her gift to the school provides a trio of professor positions in English, History and Communications.

It also expands collections and archives.

Another part of the donation will go to a $160,000 fund for an annual outreach initiative in the Communication Department.

“The estate gift, which is a surprise, is going to make a lot of things possible here. We hope to add at least one or two significant pieces, whether that be books or art to the collection each year,” said Shawna Kennedy-Witthar, director of information and library resources at WTAMU’s Cornette Library.

Students will have access to a special collection of original, historical and source-based materials that some people don’t have access to in other institutions.

The library already holds around 2,000 items from her. Through this gift, the school is able to continue to add materials that they choose, rather than what Scott was choosing herself.

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