Grant Marked for Hatfield Archives

Willamette University received a $500,000 grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust to help build the endowment for the Mark O. Hatfield Library Archives. This gift brings Willamette halfway to its endowment goal of $2 million. Annual earnings from the fund will be used to support a full-time archivist, a half-time staff position, material costs and archives-sponsored programs.

"The Meyer gift takes us a big step closer to half of our goal," said Pat Alley, director of Foundation Relations and Government Grants. "The University has wanted someone for a long time who could organize the Mark O. Hatfield Library Archives for faculty, students and the public."

One of the major goals of the archivist is to make the historical documents more readily accessible to a large public audience through programmatic uses, exchanges with other libraries and digitization of materials to appear on an archival Web site. "When fully established, the Mark O. Hatfield Library Archives will be an educational resource that holds the promise of becoming an invaluable research center for students and faculty, civic leaders, visiting scholars and the general public," said President M. Lee Pelton.

Willamette alumnus Senator Mark O. Hatfield, Class of 1943, placed his archives at Willamette University in 1986, the year the Mark O. Hatfield Library opened. His archives include memorabilia from his career - such as plaques, medallions, honorary degrees and keys to cities - as well as papers from his career as a faculty member at Willamette through his serving as Oregon governor and U.S. senator. The papers include speeches, files on legislative issues and campaign materials.

"It's an enormously important collection for the University, the region and the nation," said University Librarian Larry Oberg. "I don't think we can overestimate the importance of the Meyer gift."