The School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a $120,000 gift from Cisco Systems Inc. and the Cisco Systems Foundation to honor the memory of the university’s late chancellor.
The endowed gift establishes the Michael Hooker Graduate Fellowship in Applied Networking, honoring the UNC at Chapel Hill administrator who died of complications stemming from lymphoma in June 1999 at the age of 53. The funds will help pay tuition and other expenses for a graduate student studying the development and management of networked information systems at SILS.
"Networking, while invisible to many Internet users, is responsible for the complicated linking and connectivity that drives the Internet and makes it so useful for so many people," noted Joanne Gard Marshall, dean and professor at SILS. "Michael Hooker understood the importance of our school and he actively pursued avenues to equip us for our special role in defining the future of information and library science education."
As chancellor, Hooker looked for opportunities to forge partnerships with progressive business leaders, and an abiding friendship grew from his discussions with Cisco Senior Vice President Selby Wellman. Both were visionary in their approach to using technology to enhance global information exchange. After Hooker’s death, Wellman and Cisco President and CEO John Chambers moved to establish a lasting tribute.
"Michael Hooker had a great vision for education," Wellman said. "His goal for higher education was to produce well-rounded graduates capable of private sector and public sector leadership. I hope in some way his legacy lives on through Cisco’s gift that created this graduate fellowship."
Cisco is a worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, supplying products that link local and wide area networks. The company employs more than 32,000 people and sells its products worldwide.
The School of Information and Library Science, recently ranked number one in a U.S. News & World Report survey of library science programs, is home to approximately 250 graduate students, 70 undergraduates and 19 full-time faculty members. It prepares students to work with computer information systems and networks or for careers in library administration, acquisitions, collections management and other aspects of library and information work.
SILS offers master’s degrees in information science and library science, a certificate of advanced study, a doctor of philosophy in information and library science and an undergraduate minor in information systems.