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Legacy Library Receives Neu Endowment

The Legacy Library of Marietta College has received a bequest from the estate of Dr. Irene Neu Jones of approximately $2 million. The bequest will establish the Dr. Irene D. Neu '44 Legacy Library Endowment.

Dr. Neu was an alumna of Marietta College, graduating in 1944. She went on to graduate study at Cornell University, where she earned an M.A. in 1945 and a Ph.D. in 1950. She pursued a career in academe as a professor of history specializing in economic history, which culminated in a faculty appointment at Indiana University, 1964-1986. She retired from Indiana with the title, Professor Emerita of History.

After her retirement, Dr. Neu returned to Marietta. In 2001 she began volunteering in the library's Special Collections department. In connection with that, she worked to organize manuscript collections and develop finding aids, technical descriptions of collections that assist scholars in finding relevant materials. Dr. Neu was instrumental in analyzing and describing the manuscripts and documents of the Ohio Company of Associates as part of a federal grant to conserve and digitize this important collection.

Linda Showalter is the library's staff member that oversees the Special Collections and worked closely with Dr. Neu. "Dr. Neu was an accomplished historian, scholar, and educator," she said. "She enjoyed working with the historical manuscripts, and I think she took enormous satisfaction in knowing that her work helped other historians, especially Marietta College's own students, as they developed their skills in the field."

The Neu Endowment will be the Legacy Library.s largest and will support the library in all its aspects, including materials and resources, staffing, and operational support.

"From her modest lifestyle, one would never suspect that she might leave such a substantial estate," commented Dr. Douglas Anderson, director of the Marietta College Library. "I think everyone here was stunned to learn that we were to be the recipients of this generous legacy."