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University of Iowa News Release


May 9, 2008

UI Center for the Book programs benefit from $155,000 donation

The University of Iowa Center for the Book has received a $155,000 anonymous donation to enrich its letterpress printing program, to support its graduate students with research assistantships, and to promote the unit with national and local initiatives.

The money will fund, in part, a three-year faculty appointment in printing, enabled by a matching grant from the Graduate College. Titled the Printing and Book Arts Lectureship, the new position will sustain and advance a unique curriculum in innovative hand-set and fine-press work.

The donation will also provide aid to graduate students in the program, whose assistantships will allow advanced work in the bookbinding, papermaking and printing studios.

In addition, the funds will sponsor workshops by visiting artists, book fair exhibits and physical plant needs. Graduate student participation in a national book arts conference hosted by the Center for the Book in January 2009 will be enhanced.

"We truly appreciate this support from both our donor and the graduate college," UI bookbinding specialist Julia Leonard said. "It goes to the heart of the program -- enhancing graduate education, strengthening our infrastructure, providing needed financial support for our students and raising the center's visibility nationally."

Co-written by Leonard and Center for the Book Director Matthew P. Brown, the grant joins other recent awards to individual center faculty, including Guggenheim, American Council of Learned Societies, National Endowment for the Humanities and Institute of Museum and Library Services grants.

"What is especially heartening is the value the grant places on graduate education," Brown said. "The donor recognizes the importance of training emerging artists, who transmit their knowledge to undergraduates while advancing the field through inventive new work."

A program within the UI Graduate College, the Center for the Book offers courses in the art and history of the book. Students can earn a graduate certificate in book arts, book technologies and book studies. The certificate is offered as a stand-alone credential or as a complement to a graduate degree in a conventional department.

Visit the UI Center for the Book on the Web at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073; cell: 310-430-1013;