July 12, 2021 at 11:45am
Kaela Williams

Collection of books and materials centered on Millikin Long-Vanderburg Scholars Program

Millikin University's Provost of seven years, Dr. Jeffery Aper, retired in June of 2021, but not without leaving the University with a resource that will be used for years to come. Upon Dr. Aper's retirement, a library collection of titles centered around the theme of equity and justice will be created, aptly named the Dr. Jeffery Aper Equity & Justice Library Collection.

"This collection of books and materials will benefit students by providing them ready access to titles that relate to the emphasis of Millikin University's Long-Vanderburg [LV] Scholars Program," explained co-directors, Dr. Ngozi Onuora, associate professor in the School of Education, and Dr. Anne Matthews, associate professor in the English Department.

Jeff Aper Millikin University

Dr. Jeffery Aper

The Long-Vanderburg program, named in honor of Millikin's first two African American graduates, Fred Long, Class of 1918, and Marian Vanderburg McCants, Class of 1934, recognizes high scholastic achievement among students who have a demonstrated commitment to diversity, leadership and community service.

Dr. Onuora and Dr. Matthews weighed in on what this library collection means for Millikin University.

"We wanted a curated library of relevant resources for the LV students, which makes our role critical in helping to source the kinds of materials that align with the program and with Millikin's mission," said Dr. Onuora and Dr. Matthews. "Having a library collection of this nature for the Long-Vanderburg Scholars Program should align with the University's overall commitment to the educational needs of diverse students and their allies."

Jeff Aper Millikin University

Located in Shilling Hall, Room 328, the goal of this new resource is to "ensure that students are utilizing the library and its collections for scholarly endeavors as well as reading enjoyment," said the two Millikin Professors.

Provost Dr. Jeffery Aper and his wife, Sandy, have committed to supporting the library annually for the next five years to support the growth of this resource for the Long-Vanderburg Scholars Program.

"We hope that we can continually build on the collections and offer a welcoming space for students to want to use these resources," explained Dr. Onuora and Dr. Matthews. "It is one way for the University not only to acknowledge but also actively support programming for underrepresented student scholars."

The benefits of participation in the selective Long-Vanderburg Scholars program include a $5,000 annual scholarship totaling $20,000 over four years, specialized courses designed to foster cultural, identity and leadership development, participation in the LV Scholars Freshman Summer Leadership Academy, residence in an exclusive Living Learning Community, contribution to impactful service projects, and participation in distinctive LV programs and activities focused on preparing scholars for success.

Jeff Aper Millikin University

Dr. Onuora and Dr. Matthews added that "as scholars, it is expected that LV students should be engaged in reading and research around issues that pertain to the purpose and values of the LV Scholars Program, which align with Millikin's mission of preparing students for professional success, democratic citizenship in a global environment, and a personal life of meaning and value."

Millikin University is grateful for the generous individuals who have already honored Dr. Aper's tenure by making a gift to the collection. Additional donations can be made by visiting bit.ly/LVlibrary or by mailing a check to 1184 W. Main St., Decatur, IL 62522 with "LV Library" in the memo line.