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UNLV Libraries Offers Affordable Ways to Honor Friends, Family

By econnections on March 9, 2013 5:27 PM | Permalink

On the second floor of Lied Library there is a table with a plaque that reads, “In honor of Gregan Wingert.” And the story behind this plaque shows how students, alumni and patrons just about anyone in the community  don’t have to donate millions of dollars to honor a friend or loved one and, at the same time, support UNLV Libraries. There are various ways the public can demonstrate support and come away with a lasting and meaningful memory.

Wingert, a 2011 Journalism & Media Studies graduate, joked with her boyfriend over the summer that one day, when she’s successful, she’d like her name on a closet inside Greenspun Hall, the home to the College of Journalism & Media Studies. Like many, she believed that honoring someone through a naming opportunity on campus is only possible for individuals with deep pockets. But she didn’t have to wait long to see her aspiration come to fruition.

Wingert’s boyfriend, Phillip Toussaint, has always admired her Rebel pride. He began looking into ways to donate to the university in his girlfriend’s name. A University of Arizona graduate, Toussaint wondered if UNLV offered a program similar to his alma mater’s, where engraved bricks are available to donors. The UNLV Foundation pointed him to UNLV Libraries.

“Libraries’ branches cost $2 million, and I couldn’t afford that,” Toussaint said with a laugh. “Aside from a plaque inside a book, the table was the only thing that fit my budget. The process was fairly simple.”

UNLV Libraries Director of Development Tamara Josserand helped Toussaint fill out a gift form and arranged for flowers and a photographer. All he had to do was get Wingert to the second floor of the Lied Library. A study table near the periodical section was chosen because of her interest in journalism, and there she was presented much to her surprise.

“While we were walking to Lied Library, I was trying to figure out what he got me,” Wingert said. “As a joke, I said, ‘Did you name a closet after me?’” The study table was one better. “He remembered something I said from the summer.”

Sitting at the study table, holding hands, the duo laughs about the whole process. When they take walks on campus during lunchtime meetings, this is always a place they can stop.

“If I achieve some success in my lifetime and I can give back to my university, I want to,” Wingert said. “It’s good to know my boyfriend supports it.” She adds that she was happy to learn there are ways within her reach as a recent graduate through which she can honor someone she cares about in a permanent way at UNLV Libraries.

To learn  more about ways to support UNLV Libraries, whether through a naming opportunity or other type of gift, contact Development Director Tamara Josserand at 702-895-2239 or tamara.josserand@unlv.edu.