The School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin has received $800,000 from the estate of Thais Bullard, a longtime Austin resident and visiting fellow at the school in the 1990s.
The gift will be used to establish the Professor Fred M. Bullard Endowed Graduate Fellowship and Student Research Fund, one of the most significant student endowments at a Library and Information Science program in the United States.
Bullard, who earned a master's degree in geology from the university in 1951 and who died in 2009, made the gift in memory of her father, Fred Mason Bullard, who was a world-renowned volcanologist in the Department of Geology at the university from 1929 until his death in 1994.
The fund will provide support to one or more master's or doctorate students in the Library and Information Science program as well as research funding for innovative student projects that involve large datasets.
"We are honored to receive such a generous gift at this time," said Andrew Dillon, dean of the School of Information. "The ability to support the best students is essential to both our school's and the field's future. We will invest in Bullard Fellows who will help shape the field in the years ahead, much as Fred Bullard did in his own career."
The school will make awards to the first cohort of Bullard Fellows in fall 2011.