By Elsa Heidorn
Laramie, WY – The University of Wyoming announced today that it has received its third multi-million dollar gift since the beginning of this year. At more than 16 million dollars, the gift becomes the largest in the University's history. The money is from Clara Toppan, a U.W. alumna who left her ranch near Wilson to the University in her will. She died in 2001, and the ranch has just been sold. She and her husband, Frederick, were collectors of rare books and donated much of their collection to the University in 1994 to start a rare book library there. Anne Marie Lane is the faculty curator at the library. She says Clara Totten enjoyed remembering her husband when she visited.
"She'd walk up and down the aisles looking at the familiar books. And she'd tell us, 'Oh, yes, he read those twice.' He loved those books.'" The 16-million dollar gift will go to the rare books library and to set up scholarships for student athletes. It will also go to the Business School and the college's accounting department.