Depression-era wisdom benefits UC Libraries

Vivian MorganIt started with dimes.

As a child, Vivian Morgan always received a dime on her birthday from a family friend. Her Depression-era parents taught her to save half. 

Morgan, BS ‘79, has continued the practice of saving. She also followed her parents’ example of sharing with others. Thanks to these virtues, she established The Vivian K. Morgan Library Support Endowment Fund for the University of Cincinnati Libraries. Her endowment is for unrestricted operating support because she believes, “when you give a gift you shouldn’t give it with strings attached.”

Morgan attended UC as a by taking night classes, and working full-time during the day. After earning her degree in business and English, she didn’t plan on attending graduation. 

Again, her parents’ wisdom prevailed.

“They said, ‘You’ve earned it, you’ve got to go,’” Morgan recalls. “I’m very proud to say I’m an alumna of UC, very proud. I think I got a really good education, and I think it’s a great institution.”

Following graduation, Morgan continued to be employed at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. As her career progressed, she was promoted and the in-house library fell under her jurisdiction. This was a perfect fit because Morgan is passionate about books and had taken library courses at UC. In her 40s at the time, she soon won over the librarians because she could speak their language. 

“They looked at me like, ‘who is this kid?’” she remembers. “But we got off to a really good start because I understood systems, reference books, bindings and journals.”

After retirement, Morgan kept her hand in books by becoming her church librarian. 

“I have such a respect for books,” she says. “I think libraries are really important. They are the guardians of the past and the gateway to the future.”

When she’s not reading or volunteering, Morgan can be found upholding her families’ 50-year tradition of attending UC football games. 

“I’ve been a Bearcat a long time. I’ve been very blessed and I’ve been very pleased with the whole university.”