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Gift Funds Leisure-reading Collection


Leisure-reading Collection to Debut at UCR Libraries

Alum Eddie Allen establishes $50,000 endowment to support a new collection in the Tomás Rivera Library.

(June 22, 2007)

Edwin H. Allen

Edwin H. Allen

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) - The University Libraries will offer a little mystery, suspense and romance this fall along with the usual academic resources with the addition of The Edwin H. and Wendy L. Allen Leisure Reading Collection.

The collection is the gift of Eddie Allen, '73, who has established a $50,000 endowment for leisure-reading books that will be housed in the Tomás Rivera Library.

Allen is senior counsel at MARC Associates, a Washington-based government relations firm. He holds a B.A. in history from UCR, a J.D. from Stanford Law School, and an M.S. in health services administration from Stanford Medical School. He and his wife, Wendy, live in Arlington, Virginia.

Allen's career has focused on a wide range of policy issues affecting health care research and delivery. He has served as vice president and general counsel for the Health Industry Manufacturers Association (now known as AdvaMed) and led the medical device industry in negotiations that led to the passage of the Safe Medical Devices Act of 1990. Allen also has served as counsel to the Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and as in-house counsel at Greater Southeast Community Hospital in Washington, D.C.

The UCR alum said he spent many hours on weekends reading in the Rivera Library. He lived in the dorms and did not have a car, so the library was the logical place to spend time.

Allen has fond memories of reading Wallace Stegner's "Angle of Repose" and Hunter Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" in the Rivera Library.

"It's important that reading not be viewed as a chore, but instead as a stimulating activity that engages a person's imagination and is pleasurable," he said. "Much as university students take study breaks to go to the gym or have a cup of coffee, I hope that being able to dip into a good unassigned book will encourage them to take a reading break."

The Allen collection will include the latest best-sellers and will be housed in the lobby of the Rivera Library, which will be furnished with comfortable chairs and couches.

"We are anxiously awaiting this collection so that the campus community can check out some of their favorite popular books, including best-selling novels, science fiction and readings in various subject areas," said Ruth M. Jackson, university librarian. Jackson noted that leisure-reading collections are some of the most popular on university campuses.

All books purchased with funds from Allen's endowment will bear a bookplate designed in his honor. Allen chose the bookplate from a selection designed by Sara Stilley, a library assistant in the Book Arts Program in Special Collections of the Libraries.

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The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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