Library News
The Investiture of the University Librarian and Dean of Libraries
May 20, 2016

John P. Wilkin was the guest of honor on April 15 as he was bestowed the medallion naming him the second Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries. Library and campus faculty and staff, along with John’s family, attended the ceremony and reception which took place in the ACES Funk Library.

Other special guests included Edward Feser (Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost); Paula Kaufman (University Librarian, 1999-2013); and Allen Renear (Professor and Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science).

Professor Kaufman was honored as the inaugural Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries on April 29, 2009. The deanship was one of the first at Illinois to be endowed at this level. The endowment—a permanent trust invested to provide a long-term source of funding—will continue to be used to finance the perpetual needs of the University Library.

Bob and Juanita Simpson supported the University Library for more than 20 years and shared Professor Kaufman’s passion and vision for the University Library. Their gifts for this deanship, as well as for the Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Rare Book & Manuscript Library Chair, have provided invaluable funding for Library programs and projects.

The Media Commons, a service space in the Undergraduate Library that offers faculty, students, and users the ability to create, disseminate, use, and curate digital media, filmed the Investiture ceremony and it is viewable online at

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