The 56 Million Dollar Library!

There appeared a wonderful story in the Buffalo News Christmas Day issue about a $56 million dollar gift to the University at Buffalo Medical School, donated by a private individual who attended the medical school during WWII. George Melvin Ellis, Jr, originally from Toledo, Ohio, but retired and living in Connersville, Indiana at the time of his death in 2011, left a $40 anonymous donation to the school, with the identitiy of the donor only to be revelaed after the death of his spouse. So, when Gladys Kelly Ellis died in 2018, the size of the gift had increased to $56 Million!
The fascinating part of the story for me is that the fortune was realized by Dr. Ellis through his use of the PUBLIC LIBRARY! According to the article, Ellis would make regular trips to the library to teach himself about how to invest a small inheritance he received from his father. Ellis would read financial publications at the library and then make his investment decisions. Hopefully he also used the library reference services to find those publications!
In any event, this is just another example of why we need our libraries!!! Back then it was access to print financial publications; while today it may be access to online publications or access to databases available through a library. Libraries change with the times, but their values never do! A library is important to all of us in one way or another and we need to let out local, state and federal government leaders know this so we can keep our libraries!
PLEASE take a moment to write a letter to your state legislator or, join us in one of the scheduled local visits with state legislators to tell them your “Dr. Ellis story” – here is where you can find out what t do to join the Library Advocacy Campaign of 2019: https://wnylrc.org/library-advocacy

Leave a Reply