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Donation to update technology
Alumnus gives $1.5 million total to library, Jefferson Foundation

Cavalier Daily, (March 22, 2001).

Jeffrey C. Walker, a University graduate with an interest in combining advanced technology and studies in the life of Thomas Jefferson, recently gave Monticello and the University Library's Electronic Text Center a combined gift of $1.5 million to begin upgrading information technology.

Of the $1.5 million gift, $1 million is designated for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., the non-profit organization that owns and operates Monticello, and the remaining $500,000 will aid the E-text Center.

Monticello will apply its portion of the gift to the Walker Fund for Technology, where the funds will upgrade computer systems, update computer software and hardware and make education and research methods more efficient, Monticello spokesperson Wayne Mogielnicki said.

"Jeffrey Walker's generous gift will make it possible for Monticello to use information technology to advance its mission more efficiently as well as open up new avenues of scholarship," Thomas Jefferson Foundation President Daniel P. Jordan said.

The University Library will use Walker's funds in accordance with a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant, which will provide a $1 million endowment to benefit the E-text Center. The challenge grant gives half the funding required, and the library will raise the rest.

The funds will enhance the E-text Center's efforts to put humanities texts online, will provide continuing education for its staff, and will also update computer software.

With the aid of Walker's gift, officials at the E-text Center (http://etext.lib.virginia.edu) hope to provide "teaching tools to help more general audiences to get to our work," E-text Center Director David Seaman said.

Walker "has an interest in Monticello and the University." said Hoke Perkins, University Library director of development. "He wanted a gift to benefit both."

Walker graduated from the Commerce School in 1977 and received his master's degree in business administration from Harvard University. He now is managing partner for J.P. Morgan Partners in New York. He has served as a member of the board of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation since January 2000.

Walker could not be reached for comment.


Mary Catherine Wellons.