The University Library is named in honor of Leo Kolligian, a Fresno native and former University of California Regent, and his late wife, Dottie. The Kolligians have been honored for their many years of advocacy and support of UC Merced, and in recognition of a generous commitment made by Leo Kolligian and his extended family to establish a permanent endowment for the library.
The Thondapu family of Merced has committed an endowed chair and spearheaded a major fund-raising campaign to purchase books for the University of California, Merced. The fund-raising effort will raise more than $20,000 to support the purchase of books for the World Cultures Institute section of the Leo and Dottie Kolligian Library at UC Merced.
The first floor of the Leo and Dottie Kolligian Library, one of the first buildings to be constructed on the new campus, will be named for Ed and Jeanne Kashian in recognition of the leadership and support that the Kashians have directed to UC Merced. In addition, they are making a substantial contribution to support an endowment for the library, named in honor of their lifelong friends and business partners, Leo Kolligian and his late wife, Dottie.
UC Merced has been pledged a gift of more than $250,000 to provide enhancements to the Kolligian Library. The committed endowment is from the non-profit McFadden-Willis Children Memorial Foundation, which was created in memory of Melanie, Stanley, Stuart, and Michelle, who were the children of Merced veterinarian Dr. Christine McFadden.
A tribute to her late husband Louis, Doris Gonella's gift to the library will create the Louis P. Gonella and Doris M. Gonella Discovery Room on the second floor. This groundbreaking instruction room featuring state-of-the-art technology will offer students information and hands-on practice in finding, evaluating and applying information for their course assignments and for a lifetime of learning.
Longtime Merced County residents Clarence and Enid Olive are pleased that the San Joaquin Valley is finally getting a UC campus of its own. Seeking to provide a gift that would address immediate needs at UC Merced, they have contributed $100,000 to support a library book fund, develop academic programs, and help address the child care needs of students and staff.
Treasures of knowledge await UC Merced students, symbolized by the gift of a unique set of palace doors from Dr. Joseph and Marie Barkett. The handcrafted teak doors valued at approximately $210,000 were a gift to the Barketts from the Amir of Kuwait. They are currently available for research and instructional purposes while awaiting their new home at UC Merced Library.