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David Kniffin Wins 2010 Phelps Award

Friends of the OSU Library present highest honor

Story by Marissa Chavez, originally published in Spring 2011 Perspectives

The Kniffin family has a legacy of generosity at  the OSU Library. It’s a legacy David Kniffin is committed to continue. The Friends of the OSU Library recently recognized Kniffin’s dedication by awarding him the 2010 Edna Mae Phelps Award.

The Phelps award has been presented annually since 1994 to recognize individuals who have substantially and unselfishly gone above and beyond duty, to increase the effectiveness of the OSU Library. It is the highest honor presented by the Friends of the OSU Library.

The OSU Library was deeply cherished by David and his father, Claud. When Claud passed away in 2007, David donated $250,000 to establish the Claud D. Kniffin Professorship of Library Service and Education Library Fund in honor of his late father. The Kniffin position is designed to encourage excellence in teaching and scholarship in the Library.

“Increasing the number of chairs and professorships is a major focus of Branding Success: a Campaign for Oklahoma State University,” said Shelia Johnson, Dean of Libraries. “The Kniffin Professorship was one of the very first to take advantage of the gift-matching challenge of T. Boone Pickens.”

Endowed professorships and chairs are the highest academic designations. These highly prestigious positions enable the OSU Library to continue attracting and retaining the best and the brightest academic minds.

This year, David made another major gift, this time in honor of his mother. The Virginia Woerz Kniffin Oklahoma Gallery will soon complement the second floor mezzanine. David’s continuous contribution to the Library is much appreciated.

The Phelps Award is present each year at the annual Friends of the OSU Library fundraiser, the H. Louise and H.E. “Ed” Cobb Speaker Series. Nominations for the 2011 Phelps Award will be accepted next fall.

For more information about this and other awards presented by the OSU Library, visit www.library.okstate.edu or call 405-744-7331.

A Tradition of Giving

This story was originally published in the 2008 Annual Report.

As a child, David Kniffin spent many game days on the OSU campus. With his father, Claud, David would explore the buildings, learning about his father’s passion while discovering his own. One of the pair’s favorite locations on campus was the Library, a place where Claud worked as an undergrad. As David toured the building during his youth, he grew to love the Library just as much as his father.

As the love of the Library and learning was passed from father to son, so was the spirit of giving to support the place they loved so much. David Kniffin recently gave $250,000 to endow the Claud D. Kniffin Professorship of Library Service and Education Library Fund.

The endowment was created to encourage excellence in teaching and scholarship at the OSU Library. The holder of the Professorship must be a member of the Library faculty and participate in the Library Media Specialist degree program in the College of Education.

“My father wanted to see OSU become a major force that would one day be equal to any other university in the nation, including the Ivy League,” said David. “This gift will benefit future teachers by giving them a better working knowledge of the 21st century library and how to prepare for it. Additionally, it will bring together like-minded scholars to explore this concept while strengthening these two academic areas on campus.”

Contact

For more information on giving to the Library contact the Tylerr Ropp, Senior Director of Development, at tropp@OSUgiving.com or 405-385-5664.