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ACU Brown Library receives endowment gift for Africana Studies Collection


Mary Lou and Christopher Hutson

Dr. Christopher and Mary Lou Hutson of Abilene have made a gift to the Abilene Christian University Brown Library establishing the Christopher and Mary Lou Hutson Africana Studies Collection Endowment. 

“This generous gift will provide consistent funding to build a great collection in the areas of African American and Africana Studies,” said James Wiser, ACU dean of library services and educational technology. “American universities have much work to do in ensuring that students and faculty can learn more from diverse voices, and this endowment will help ACU become a place where more African American and African voices and materials are readily accessible. I am thankful to the Hutsons for their support of that work and for being a kind friend of our library.”

The permanent endowment fund will support the Brown Library’s acquisition of materials supporting teaching, research and reflection in African American and African Diaspora history, literature and religion.

“Last year, as we all watched that horrific video of George Floyd’s death, so many Americans were moved to take steps to combat systemic racism in our society. We decided we could take a meaningful step by establishing this fund,” said Mary Lou Hutson. “And I am proud that my employer, Chubb, matched a significant portion of our gift.” 

The proceeds from this endowment will allow Brown Library to purchase hundreds of new books each year that support academic work in this interdisciplinary field.

“We have a lot of talented African American students at ACU, and they deserve better support from their library. But in fact, all scholars, whether in history, literature, religion, entrepreneurship, sociology, education or whatever, need to take into account how the African Diaspora has shaped our world,” said Dr. Christopher Hutson, associate dean of ACU’s Graduate School of Theology. 

The Christopher and Mary Lou Hutson Africana Studies Collection Endowment is one of 11 restricted collections endowments held by Brown Library for supporting acquisition of materials in a specific subject area, and Wiser said he hopes to endow 30 new named collection funds before 2030. For more information about this type of collection endowment, contact Molly Scherer, library communications and development officer, at

— Wendy Kilmer

Apr. 16, 2021

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