Friday, July 30, 2010

The University of Iowa Center for the Book has received a $256,000 grant from a private foundation, continuing a pattern of support from the anonymous donor.

The grant will carry over three years, funding graduate student assistantships and a printing lectureship, and supporting professional development and programming for students and faculty.

“The donor’s generosity has helped to offer our students' excellent instruction, exposure to visiting artists and scholars from around the country, and financial support that allows them both to focus on their studies and to gain valuable studio experience,” said principal investigator and UI Book Arts lecturer Julie Leonard.

The donation caps a string of fundraising successes and grant recognition for the program. Since 2006, the Center for the Book has earned in donations four times its annual operating budget, reflecting its entrepreneurial spirit well before the economic downturn.

Leonard praised as well the donor’s belief in graduate education and its role in serving undergraduates through departments such as the Center for the Book.

“The private foundation is well-versed in activities occurring in our field nationally,” she said. “So it is not only the financial support they provide, but also the faith they place in our program that is gratifying. That they continue to view what we do here as valuable says a lot in terms of how we excel on a national scale.”

A program within the Graduate College, the Center for the Book offers courses in the history and art of the book. Students can earn a graduate certificate in book arts, book technologies and book studies. The certificate is offered as a stand-alone credential or as a complement to a graduate degree in a conventional department. A proposal is under administrative review for a Master of Fine Arts degree in the book arts.