Giving to McFarlin

At the heart of every great academic institution stands its library and at The University of Tulsa, our own iconic McFarlin Library is no exception. As the TU’s Grand Dame since 1930, McFarlin has been the physical and academic center of our beautiful campus.

The financial resources needed to sustain a world-class library like McFarlin are vast. However, through the generous support of friends, alumni and other benefactors of the University of Tulsa, we are able to provide TU students and faculty with the academic resources necessary to succeed in their scholastic enterprise.

Special Collections works with a small number of respectable book dealers who have our collection interests firmly in mind and with whom we have worked for many years to cultivate a reputation for reliability and alacrity. By having dependable funding and responsive support, we can continue to maintain these relationships and continue to build and expand both our collections and our prestige in the academic community.

For more information, please call the Office of University Advancement and Alumni Engagement at 918-631-2561.

The McFarlin Library Annual Fund for Excellence

The McFarlin Library Annual Fund for Excellence provides crucial unrestricted dollars to:

  • Meet the ever-increasing cost of scholarly journal subscriptions that are critical for research
  • Provide the ability to expand our access to other print and electronic information resources (books, journals, research databases, media, etc.)
  • Ensure the continual enhancement of campus computing resources
  • Enable McFarlin to continue acquiring important rare books and manuscripts for our special collections.

Through every gift to the library’s annual fund, no matter what the size, you leave a personal legacy in knowing your generosity has touched the academic life of a TU scholar.

For more information, please call the Office of University Advancement and Alumni Engagement at 918-631-2561.

The McFarlin Fellows

Formally established in 1993, the McFarlin Fellows support The University of Tulsa’s rare book, manuscript, and special collections with an annual contribution of $2000 or more. McFarlin Fellows are also recognized as members of The University of Tulsa’s President’s Council and are invited to special events organized by the President of the University. Annual donors of $1,500 or more to any University program become members of the President’s Council but only those supporting the acquisition of rare books and manuscripts become McFarlin Fellows.

Additionally, McFarlin Fellows are invited to attend formal dinners with a speaker three times a year, and may also be invited to other special events.

Upcoming McFarlin Fellows Events

Past Fellow Speakers and Programs

Why We Need Support

Although university funding covers the costs of staff and overhead, it does not provide funding for Special Collections acquisitions. These are funded solely through gifts to the Library. But success in acquiring desirable manuscripts, rare books, and other materials, and building a prestigious collection needs more than generosity. Success actually requires:

  • Thoughtfully defined collections and interests
  • Dependable funding at a predictable level
  • An institutional ability to move quickly and make immediate decisions
  • Support that can be mobilized to meet special opportunities

History of McFarlin Fellows

The rare book and manuscript collections at the University of Tulsa have always enjoyed strong support from the Tulsa Community. Much of this support has been from people who are interested in literature and history. In the 1940s, the Tulsa Bibliophiles, a group of book collectors, developed an extensive collection of Walt Whitman materials that later, along with many of the members’ personal libraries, was given to McFarlin Library, establishing the University’s rare book holdings for American and English literature.

Over the next 50 years, there were a number of short-lived library groups that continued to support the special collections and rare book holdings at the University of Tulsa through gifts of materials and financial donations.
In 1992, then-Provost George Gilpin and his wife Professor Hermione de Almeida, along with Curator of Special Collections Sidney F. Huttner, began to gather friends and acquaintances who were interested not only in supporting the needs of the Special Collections department, but also in enriching the intellectual community of Tulsa. After a few test dinners and speakers in the Gilpins’ home, the McFarlin Fellows was firmly established, and the first official dinner with a speaker was held in October 1993.

Over the years, there have been many fascinating and notable speakers and events, including Nobel laureate Sir V. S. Naipaul, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Mary Robinson (then President of Ireland), NPR commentator, writer and librarian Nancy Pearl, the unveiling of the Sir Rupert Hart Davis Library, Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns (The Civil War, Baseball, Jazz).

For more information, please call the Office of University Advancement and Alumni Engagement at 918-631-2561.

The Ben Graf Henneke Society

Established in 2009, The Ben Graf Henneke Society pays tribute to The University of Tulsa’s President Emeritus, Ben Henneke, and his dedication to McFarlin Library. From his days as a student, Dr. Henneke spent countless hours in McFarlin and maintained an office here until his death in the fall of 2009. Dr. Henneke provided steadfast support for the library during his presidency and also was a generous donor.

Membership in this premier donor society requires a commitment of $25,000. Each generous gift, which can be paid at once or over a period of up to five years, will be pooled in an endowed fund that will serve to attract renowned authors and scholars to TU and to raise national and international regard for The University’s rare books and manuscripts held in special collections.

Belonging to The Henneke Society provides members with access to McFarlin Library’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives and invitation to select events at The University of Tulsa.

Why We Need Support

Although university funding covers the costs of staff and overhead, it does not provide funding for Special Collections acquisitions. These are funded solely through gifts to the Library. But success in acquiring desirable manuscripts, rare books, and other materials, and building a prestigious collection needs more than generosity. Success actually requires:

  • Thoughtfully defined collections and interests
  • Dependable funding at a predictable level
  • An institutional ability to move quickly and make immediate decisions
  • Support that can be mobilized to meet special opportunities

For more information, please call the Office of University Advancement and Alumni Engagement at 918-631-2561.

McFarlin Signature Society

McFarlin Library is the academic heart of the university. It exists to enrich the academic experience of TU students and faculty by providing access to our wide-ranging collection of electronic and print materials. The dedicated and knowledgeable library staff actively promotes scholarship, critical thinking, and responsible citizenship through information literacy, and provides a welcoming place for self-education and life-long discovery.

Established in 2013, McFarlin Signature Society is comprised of a group of alumni and community members who provide a minimum $500 gift to support the general and most pressing needs of McFarlin Library. McFarlin Signature Society contributions help to expand McFarlin Library’s electronic journals collection, to upgrade technology, and to provide staff support critical to the daily operation of the Library.

Your $500 gift may be made in one annual payment, in pledge payments throughout the year, or matched by your employer.

For more information, please call the Office of University Advancement and Alumni Engagement at 918-631-2561.

Gifts to Special Collections and University Archives

The Department of Special Collections and University Archives has been built with the support of many truly generous and caring people. These gifts tend to fall into two major types: financial and gifts in kind.

Financial Giving:

Financial Gifts are handled through the Office of Institutional Advancement, and specifically through the McFarlin Library Development Officer, Jenna Flugum.

The McFarlin Fellows contributions also allow us to purchase rare books and manuscripts. The Ben Graf Henneke Society contributions allow us to bring in notable speakers for the Fellows dinners.

Gifts in Kind:

Gifts in Kind are items, papers, and other tangible goods that people have chosen to give us. Many of our best known collections and materials have been donated to us.

Anyone wishing to offer a Gift in Kind should contact the Librarian of Special Collections. Acceptance is based on our Gift Policy/Collection Development Policy, and sometimes other practical or substantive considerations.

At the time of the gift, a Deed of Gift should be created and signed.

Gifts will be acknowledged by letter from Institutional Advancement, and often a further thank you may be sent by the Librarian of Special Collections, or the Dean of McFarlin Library.