University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
September 17, 2013
Contact: Renee Paul, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6640
Julien E. Marx Foundation Trust Pledges $3 Million Gift to USA Library;
Building to be Named Marx Library in Honor of the Family
Mark Foundation Pledges Gift
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Main Campus Library Named for Marx Family—University of South Alabama Acting President Dr. John Smith, center, and USA Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Steven Furr, left, present Linda Marx of the Julien E. Marx Foundation Trust with a resolution naming the university’s main campus library the Marx Library in honor of the Marx family of Mobile following a $3 million pledge from trust members.
The University of South Alabama Board of Trustees today voted to name the institution’s library in honor of the Marx family of Mobile in recognition of a $3 million pledge from the Julien E. Marx Foundation Trust, which will support the facility.

Of this gift, $1 million will be used for the renovation of the third-floor library space, which will house the Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, currently located at the USA Springhill campus. The remaining $2 million of this gift will be used to establish an endowment that will provide annual support of the Marx Library.

The Marx family—Linda Marx and her late husband, Julien; and Julien’s late parents, Julius and Jean Marx—has supported USA for more than three decades. This most recent gift from the Julien E. Marx Foundation Trust brings the Marx family giving to nearly $4 million.

The family’s longtime support of the University has resulted in the establishment of several scholarships over the years, including the Jean F. and Julius E. Marx Endowed Fund in Philosophy, the Marx Endowed Scholarship in Philosophy-Pinebrook Scholars, and the Robert Snell Endowed Scholarship in Art.

The Marx family also has chosen the University to be the recipient of significant archival materials including the extensive Julius E. Marx Photographic Collection, which they support through an endowment.

“A great library is a crucial element of a great university,” said USA Acting President Dr. John Smith. “This generous gift from the Julien E. Marx Foundation Trust will go far in preserving the past and enhancing the present and future. The University of South Alabama is indebted to the Marx family for their steadfast support through the years.”

Dr. David Johnson, senior vice president for academic affairs at the University, said the gift from the Julien E. Marx Foundation Trust is the most significant contribution ever made to the USA main library.

“This gift will allow us to provide enhanced facilities for the McCall library and make its collections more accessible to USA students, and it will establish a substantial endowment that will fund enhancements of the library from this point forward,” Johnson explained. “I am very grateful for this gift and am very pleased that the Board of Trustees has decided to name our main library on campus in honor of the Marx family.”

USA’s Dean of Libraries Dr. Richard Wood said the endowment created with this gift represents a very significant and happy occasion in the history of what has been known for over decades as the University library.

“Besides the change in name to the Marx Library, the generous endowment will enable the library to accomplish instructional, collection development, maintenance and other important objectives that would otherwise be difficult to do,” Wood noted.

Linda Marx, owner of Julius E. Marx Realtors, said the family’s longtime support of the University’s photographic archives at the Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library grew out of their love for photography and their desire to help preserve Mobile’s history.

More than two decades ago, Linda’s father-in-law, Julius, gave the University his extensive collection of local historical photos, many of which he took himself during his years as a developer and owner of Julius E. Marx Realtors. Some of the photos were taken when he developed Dauphin Island, but most of the pictures are of buildings in Mobile, especially the downtown area. After Julius’ death, Linda and her late husband, Julien—a well-known businessman and real estate developer in Mobile—gave the remaining photos in Julius’ collection to USA.

Linda said it has long been the desire of the Marx family to have the University’s archives—recently renamed the Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library—moved out of its USA Springhill campus location to a place where it could be better preserved and shared with the community.

“My late mother-in-law, Jean Marx, always impressed on me the importance of giving back to the community, as it was the practice of her Jewish religion,” Linda Marx said. “It was because of my late husband’s family’s generosity over the years to the University that we wanted to do something to continue their legacy.” USA’s Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Dr. Joseph Busta said, “The Marx family has always valued historic preservation and higher education. This gift permanently preserves their values while strengthening the academic heart of our University, the campus library.” Carol Ellis, director of the Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, said the move to the main campus library will improve access for both the campus community and area citizens.

“Our move to campus will provide more central access to our collections to the people in our community, and immediate access to faculty, staff and students at USA,” she said. “We look forward to the opportunity to participate in those communities’ research activities. Without the generosity of the Marx family, this opportunity would not be possible.”

Renovation of the Marx Library’s third floor—future home of the Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library—is slated to begin fall semester 2014. Construction is expected to be complete summer semester 2015.

The McCall Library was substantially enhanced in 2011 when the McCall family gave the former University Archives the Doy Leale McCall Collection, which includes more than one million documents dating from the late 18th century to the early 20th century. This collection is one of the most important archival collections in the South.

The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library holds more than 1.2 million negatives, one of the largest collections of photographs in the region, in addition to a substantial assortment of manuscript and other collections. The photographs, manuscripts and records document Mobile and south Alabama from the 18th century forward, as well as the University over its 50-year history.



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