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Recent Donation Completes NEH Challenge Grant

Libra, (September 2001).

University of Virginia alumni Matthew and Nancy Walker of McLean, VA, have pledged $200,000 to the Electronic Text Center Endowment, a gift that completes the National Endowment for the Humanities (N EH) Challenge nearly two years ahead of schedule.

"After visiting the Etext Center last year, Nancy and I were pleased to have this opportunity to support work at the forefront of library information technology," said Matthew Walker. "We are particularly interested in the resources the Etext Center's online holdings provide to students and teachers around the world."

Income from the Matthew and Nancy Walker Library Fund for Technology will provide quick-response digitizing for faculty and Library projects, train and support graduate students, and maintain computer hardware and software.

In 1999, the NEH awarded the Library a $200,000 Challenge Grant to create a $1 million endowment to expand what has become one of the world's most respected online cultural and research sites. With this gift from the Walkers, along with the support from many friends and alumni around the nation, the Library has gathered the gifts necessary to release the federal challenge grant well ahead of the 2003 deadline.

According to University Librarian Karin Wittenborg, "It is gratifying to have the Walkers' help in building our humanities collections online. We have discovered that the general public is hungry for e-books, and the Walkers will help us continue to provide enhanced digital resources in diverse fields, from Japanese literature to American history, from Apache folktales to Greek philosophy."

Matthew Walker, who graduated in 1983 with a B.S. in engineering and economics, is CEO of Iconnix, a leading Internet development and consulting firm. Nancy Walker, a 1983 graduate of the Nursing School, volunteers at Trinity Presbyterian Church, manages the household and their two children (Phillip, 13 and Nicholas, 8), and is involved in the local arts community.

The U.Va. Library Electronic Text Center, founded in 1992, provides Internet access to humanities-related texts and e-books. For more information, visit their Web site at: or contact Director David Seaman at (434) 924-3230. To contribute to the Electronic Text Center Endowment, contact Hoke Perkins, Director of Development, at (434) 982-2865 or

Hoke Perkins, Director of Development (