KU News Release


Aug. 30, 2011
Contact: Rebecca Smith, KU Libraries, 785-864-1761

KU Libraries team up with gridiron Jayhawks for 'Touchdown Challenge'

More Information

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas Libraries have teamed up with KU Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger and Head Football Coach Turner Gill to launch a fundraising campaign to support KU Libraries.

The Touchdown Challenge campaign, now in its second year, is dedicated to raising funds for the seven libraries on the KU campus. Participants in the challenge will pledge a certain amount of money per touchdown that KU scores during the 2011 season and postseason play. The contributions support the KU Libraries enrichment fund.

Zenger, who earned his doctoral degree at KU, emphasized the importance of the library for undergraduate and graduate students alike.

“In many ways, the library is the heart of campus and touches each one of the students at KU.”

Gill is also a supporter of the libraries. He said that the entire staff encourages all football players to focus on education, and that the libraries are an essential part of helping them thrive academically.

“As every one of our football players know, education is the number one priority,” Gill said. “It is up to each student to stay on top of his grades. The critical support the library provides — not only to KU student-athletes, but to the student body as a whole — makes that possible.”

In addition to teaching hundreds of workshops and course-integrated instruction sessions each semester, library faculty teach for-credit courses aimed at improving information literacy.

“Librarians work with all students to help them develop a better understanding of the research process, an important step that contributes to improved student retention now and helps them develop lifelong information and technology literacy skills,” said Lorraine J. Haricombe, dean of KU Libraries. “KU student-athletes benefit from a specially designed research methods and information literacy course taught by KU librarians. We are proud of our partnership with Kansas Athletics, and we look forward to the second year of this campaign to benefit all KU students.”

“The University of Kansas is known not just for its great athletics program, but also for the high level of expectations in academics,” Gill said. “I hope KU fans will join me in supporting the libraries.”

For more information about the campaign or to make a pledge, visit the Touchdown Challenge website at www.lib.ku.edu/touchdown.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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