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Our donors help redefine what is possible for UK Libraries to achieve. Join us in thanking our supporters for their generosity and spirit of service.

LuAnnette and John Butler

The Butler Education Studio is the cornerstone of the Education Library. Providing free access to craft materials and equipment, including laminators, button makers, and Cricut and AccuCut machines, the Butler Education Studio is a unique makerspace that sparks creativity and facilitates the design of active learning concepts for all of the College of Education’s student teachers and practitioners. 

The Studio was made possible by a generous gift from LuAnnette and John Butler, longtime supporters of UK Libraries and members of the National Advisory Board, where LuAnnette served as President from 2016-2018. Both spent their working lives in education, and wanted to give back and help prepare a future generation of educators for professional success.

LuAnnette received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Education from UK in 1959, and went on to have a long and distinguished career in education, teaching for 12 years at Georgetown College and for 15 years at Austin Peay State University as Professor of Psychology and Coordinator of School Counselor Education. 

Fondly remembering her UK courses taught by Dr. Vernon Mussleman, LuAnnette wanted to give back, and invest not only in the Education Library, but make a mark in set out to ensure that today’s students have an even more memorable UK experience, and begin their careers in education even better prepared than she had been.

A one-of-a-kind hub of creativity and collaboration, the Butler Education Studio has redefined what is possible for UK Libraries users, and equipped student teachers with unparalleled resources. LuAnnette has long been a very special supporter of UK Libraries, and the Butlers’ gift will not only benefit future teachers, but all of their students for years to come.

David and Kathy Johnson

The Johnson Classroom in the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library is dedicated to library instruction and is one of the most-used classrooms across UK Libraries. The flexible space supports library research and information literacy training and serves as a crucial piece in promoting the Libraries’ and the University’s goals for student success.

A new renovation, made possible through a generous gift from David and Kathy Johnson, has brought greater technological capacities and other much-needed updates to the room, ensuring its usefulness for decades to come. The Johnson’s gift has also expanded the role of the Fine Arts Library as patron and collector of Kentucky art, bringing a new site-specific artwork to the room.

David Johnson, emeritus UK mathematics professor, and Kathy Rees Johnson, a renowned Lexington artist and UK art history alumna, are longtime supporters of UK Libraries, and each have served as members of the National Advisory Board.

“Having engaged, questing people in a room is what a university is all about,” said David Johnson. “Kathy and I are very happy to be a part of that.”

Working with Head Librarian Paula Hickner and Art Librarian Karyn Hinkle, the Johnsons commissioned Kentucky artist Ivy Johnson Fleming to create a mural for the classroom. Fleming’s “A Call to Arms” is a site-specific installation featuring hand-cut silhouette figures marching to battle with “weapons” made from the pages of decommissioned books from the Fine Arts Library’s collection.

An alumna from the University of Kentucky School of Art and Visual Studies, Fleming spent a significant amount of time in the Fine Arts Library as an undergraduate. “The library was a quiet refuge in the otherwise chaotic life of a studio major,” she said. “The mural pays homage to the power of books in a world that could benefit from a bit more escape and a bit less heavy artillery.”

Bess Clements Abell

During his long and distinguished political career, from county sheriff to Kentucky Governor, to the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, Earle C. Clements embodied a spirit of service, a dedication to public life, and a commitment to productive political discourse. One of the most successful and visionary governors in Kentucky history, Clements was a lifelong advocate of improved education. 

UK Libraries is proud to honor Clements’ legacy through annual fellowships, awards, and events, all of which are made possible by the generous gifts of his daughter, Bess Clements Abell, her husband Tyler Abell, and their two sons, Dan and Lyndon. Bess and her family have been longtime supporters of UK Libraries, and their gifts ensure the continued promotion of the ideals that Clements championed. 

In 2007, a gift by Bess established the Earl C. Clements Graduate Research Fellowship, which supports graduate student research in UK Libraries’ Public Policy Archives. A 2015 gift established the Earle C. Clements Innovation in Education Award, given every year to recognize Kentucky’s best history and civics teachers. 

In 2016, a $500,000 gift established the Earle C. Clements Memorial Endowment Fund. The fund is used to organize the annual Earle C. Clements Lecture-Symposium, which invites scholars to speak to the UK community on topics related to public policy and government. The fund also further supports UK Libraries’ programs in public policy, government, and archival research, and ties together earlier Clements projects. 

Born in Morganfield, Kentucky, Bess graduated from UK with a degree in political science in 1954. Bess served as social secretary in the Lyndon Johnson White House, a crucial and largely unsung role that she carried out with a unique blend of deftness, toughness, and grace, organizing high-profile events – and managing high-stakes personalities – at a time of great political turmoil. After many years in public service, Bess established Bess Abell Enterprises, a public relations firm in Washington, D.C. She passed away in 2020 at the age of 87.

Sandee McAninch

Free access to government information stands as a cornerstone of democratic society. For over thirty years, Sandee McAninch served UK Libraries as Federal Regional Depository Librarian, ensuring that access by acting as steward of the Commonwealth’s most complete collection of government publications. A treasure trove of official, primary source materials, the collection includes maps, data sets, and print and microform materials that support research and instruction across all disciplines.

Sandee’s innovative librarianship served not only UK but the entire Federal Depository Library Program. She provided visionary leadership in collaborations with partner institutions to develop shared collection management strategies that improved preservation and access to collections across the country, and worked with Kentucky Senator Wendell Ford to develop and pass the Government Publishing Office Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act of 1993, ushering government publications onto the web and providing access to digital content. 

Though she retired in 2019, Sandee’s work will go on through the Sandee McAninch Endowment Fund in Government Information, which she established in 2013. Her gift will ensure that the efforts undertaken throughout her long career continue into the future by enabling UK Libraries to purchase, process, catalog, house, preserve, promote awareness of, and provide access to government information resources and publications. 

“The preservation of government information has always meant something to me beyond my daily work,” said Sandee. “The business of our government can shape our lives, and the publications created by it provide a path for many people to understand the scope of that impact. I wanted to do something that would allow the university to continue preserving this information long into the future.”