Our hearts are in the work

As the dean of libraries, I have opportunities to interact with faculty, students, staff, alumni, parents, fellow administrators, trustees and other friends of Carnegie Mellon University. Understanding the hopes, visions and aspirations of the library's many supporters, donors and potential donors is an important part of my responsibility to this magnificent university.


The support of our donors allows us to add an edge of excellence that otherwise would not be possible.  Your investment in the library allows us to build digital resources, showcase research excellence and enhance learning spaces.  All of these enrich the CMU student experience, and enhance the support we give to everyone in the university.  On their behalf, I offer my thanks for your generosity.  It truly does make a difference.


Thank you,

Keith Webster

Here are some of the things the Libraries does with your generous donations.
Commemorative book

Celebrate a birthday or graduation, or make a memorial gift. We select a new book for the library and inscribe a commemorative message (bookplate). We inform both you and the honoree or family member about the gift book. Suggested donation: $100 per book.

If making a gift online, select Friends of the Library and note in Additional Comments: BOOK. Include details about honoree, occasion, and whom to notify

Collection materials

Strengthen the library collection for a particular discipline or reading interest, or support a favorite media type. Your gift will help buy materials that students need, want, and use—whether traditional books, audio, video, or fulltext online.

If making a gift online, select Friends of the Library and note in Additional Comments: COLLECTION. Include details about subject area and media format.

Pittsburgh Jewish Newspapers

Pittsburgh Jewish Newspapers (fulltext). The Jewish Criterion (1902-1962) and The Jewish Chronicle (1962-present) have been digitized and made available online with the generous support of the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh. In 2011, the family of the late Henry Posner Jr. donated funds to digitize The American Jewish Outlook (1934-1962) and the Y-JCC Series (1927-1975), completing this useful, popular online archive.

If making a gift online, select Friends of the Library and note in Additional Comments: D-1.

Maggie Murph Café endowment

Help insure ongoing enhancement of the Maggie Murph Café and its welcoming ambience.

If making a gift online, select Friends of the Library and note in Additional Comments: MMCforever.

Other facility endowments

Support continued upgrading of student spaces. Naming/endowment opportunities begin at $50,000. Contact us to learn more.

Roger Sorrells was born in Plaquemine, Louisiana, on December 15, 1936, the son of B.J. and Maurine C. Sorrells. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Physics (1960) and a Master’s degree in Mathematics (1962) with a thesis entitled “Number Sequences” from the University of Texas. In 1961, he married Cynthia Hammond Wickizer, whom he later divorced. They had a daughter Alexandra. He taught mathematics at San Antonio College and Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) in San Marcos.

After San Antonio College purchased a PDP11 computer and allowed him to work on it, he became a computer scientist, working on a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Texas A&M University from 1971 to 1982. In 1978, he joined the TAMU Computing Center where he eventually became the head of the Help Desk. There, he recruited and trained students to answer questions and assisted many graduate students in troubleshooting their computer programs. According to one student, sitting across from Roger with a program in hand was the ultimate key to success in his doctoral program. In 1991, he received the President’s Meritorious Service Award and in 1992, retired from his position. He continued to assist with the World Shakespeare Bibliography. He was active in Mothers against Drunk Drivers, Compassionate Friends, and the Lions Club.

He and Gloriana St. Clair came together at Texas A&M in 1984. They subsequently travelled extensively in projects related to digital libraries in general, and the Million Book Project in particular. His interests included walking, biking, hiking spelunking, snorkeling, reading, nature, the Shakers, Chautauqua, science, and politics. At Carnegie Mellon University, he was a founding member of the Highlands Circle.

Roger died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on September 2, 2011, from Advanced Stage Parkinson’s disease.

His daughter Alexandra predeceased him when a recidivist drunk driver killed her on New Year’s Eve 1982. His longtime partner Gloriana St. Clair; his brother Mike Sorrells; his dear friends Hal Manzke, Darla Comeaux, and Pam Ferguson; and their families survive him. A host of friends, colleagues, and co-conspirators from hiking and biking, his book groups, the World Shakespeare Bibliography, Carnegie Mellon University libraries, the Million Book Project, and Texas A&M University have lost a great friend.

rogersorrells.library.cmu.edu has video of the Pittsburgh luncheon celebrating Roger's life (October 2, 2011). His daughter Sandy's sketches and art work are now online (April 2012).

The Roger Sorrells Engineering & Science Library was named and dedicated on April 17, 2012, thanks to a very generous endowment from Gloriana St. Clair.

If making a gift online, select Friends of the Library and note in Additional Comments: Sorrells.

Henry Posner Jr. at the opening of the Posner Center in 2004Henry Posner Jr., a longtime friend of Carnegie Mellon University and Lifetime Emeritus Trustee, passed away on March 23, 2011, at the age of 92.

Mr. Posner was a quietly influential Pittsburgh entrepreneur, chairman of The Hawthorne Group, former CEO of Pittsburgh Outdoor Advertising, and scientist with the Manhattan Project. He amassed a fortune from various business ventures in his lifetime, and gave most of it away to support education, health care, the welfare of Jews in the former Soviet Union and other philanthropy.

In 1978, Helen and Henry Posner Jr. deeded his parents’ personal library of rare books and artifacts to the University Libraries’ care. In 2004, they built Posner Center to provide the ideal environment in which to secure and display the collection. The LEED-certified facility not only provides museum-quality storage and exhibit space, but also houses the Carnegie Mellon trustees’ board room and serves the university as a premier meeting venue.

Simultaneously with construction of Posner Center, the family launched a foundation to promote awareness and use of the Posner collection for education and scholarship at the university. The Posner Fine Arts Foundation funds two internships per year for Carnegie Mellon students. Student interns work directly with collection materials and create major exhibits on topics of their choice.

Carnegie Mellon University is one of the institutions that the Posner family named to accept gifts in Mr. Posner’s memory. We will use the memorial contributions to enhance projects that were initiated by Mr. and Mrs. Posner and supported by their generosity.

If making a gift online, select Friends of the Library and note in Additional Comments: Posner.


Posner Memorial Collection

The Posner Memorial Collection of 622 titles includes landmark works in the history of western science, and beautifully-produced sets of literature and decorative arts books. The Posners funded the University Libraries’ digitization of the collection to create an exceptionally accessible fine and rare book library in full text (text and images), including Mr. Posner Sr.’s collection records for each acquisition.

2014 marked the 10th anniversary of Posner Center at Carnegie Mellon University. The celebration included an exhibit of 12 treasures from the collection, including the U.S. Bill of Rights (1792) and works by Descartes, Omar Khayyám, Copernicus, Shakespeare, Euclid, Lewis Carroll, Galileo, Robert Hooke, Christopher Columbus, Francis Bacon, and Regiomontanus.