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Xavier Magazine | April 30, 2017

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Shared History

Philip and Elizabeth Gasiewicz want to improve connections between alumni and the University. And they’re certainly making it happen. This year the couple, who graduated in 1968 and 1974 respectively, established the Surkamp Family Welcome Center in the Alumni Center and underwrote a major project to digitize all surviving issues of the student newspaper The Xavier Newswire and the Musketeer yearbook.

While the welcome center has been widely publicized, JoAnne Young, associate vice president for library sciences, says the digitization will also play a critical role. It’s a key link in the process of improving information access as the University moves forward into the proposed academic quadrangle and learning commons. When completed sometime next year, the information will be accessible online.

The project also provides an important next step in ensuring the preservation of aging paper documents. It’s a huge undertaking. Young says there are 19,623 pages to convert from the newspaper alone.

Mike Bobinski, associate vice president for development, says the gift reflects the Gasiewicz’s desire to ensure future generations can share in the Xavier experience.

“The extraordinary thing is, they made this gift in honor of Beth’s parents, Dick and Betty Surkamp, and extended family, nine of whom attended Xavier,” he says. “They have this tremendous alumni focus because of their own alumni connections. It’s something we’re very grateful for.”

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