The has announced a $5.8 million bequest from Charles E. Cather, the nephew of author Willa Cather, an 1895 alumna of the university.
The gift to the will endow funds in support of the university's many initiatives related to Cather. To be used collaboratively by , the , the , and the , the funds will provide support for digital resources, the Cather special collections, and public programs; stipends or awards for undergraduate and graduate students studying Cather and her work; the Willa Cather Scholarly Edition, a scholarly publication of Cather's work published in partnership with the Cather Project and the University of Nebraska Press; and conferences, seminars, and support for other Cather-related activities, including collaborations with musicians and artists.
Charles Cather, who died in 2011, also bequeathed items once owned by his aunt, including her manuscripts, letters, medals, and inscribed first editions of her work.
"Most importantly, the gift lets us build on the university's tradition and enables us to grow in new directions, particularly in ways that bring the values and insights of the humanities into the broader community," said Andrew Jewell, editor of the Willa Cather Archive and a professor at UNL Libraries. "Cather is a writer who cared deeply about the human experience, in all of its diverse forms, and her work opens us up to the broader world and connects us to one another. Our stewardship of this gift will honor that quality in her art."