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University Libraries

Achievement Unlocked

By Katy Kelly

When you think of student scholarships, the scenario typically includes a high school senior ecstatic about attending their dream school. What about honoring students further along in their college careers? 

Each spring, University Libraries faculty and staff award three $600 scholarships to recognize current students and their accomplishments so far at UD, providing students a boost for the upcoming academic year.  

The awards are merit-based and open to students with particular experiences:

“Being recognized for my merits in UD’s journalism community and for my love of writing gave me the confidence to begin my professional career,” said Tori Miller ’23, a Ruhlman Award winner who now works as a project specialist at business consulting firm TBD Solutions. “It really speaks to the worth of merit-based scholarships not only giving students the opportunity to share what they’ve contributed, but also to inspire future award recipients to do the same.”

These library awards demonstrate how a gift of any size in honor of someone else can both preserve their legacy and support students. The Hary and Koehler awards were established by librarians Nicoletta Hary and Susan Tsui, respectively, who received the Lackner Award; they designated funds they received through the award to benefit students. The Joseph Poelking Sr. family started the Ruhlman Award fund in 1975 to memorialize the former director of the Libraries (1936-1954), who served UD for more than 50 years. These gifts, established decades ago, make a UD education more accessible for students and demonstrate the devotion of faculty, staff and alumni to students and the mission.

Anyone can contribute to these funds — or create their own scholarship fund to honor someone special. To do either, contact University Advancement.


— Katy Kelly is a professor in the University Libraries and assistant dean of strategic communication and outreach.

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