Retired Professor’s Gift will Establish Professorship at KU

One of the world’s foremost scholars on “Moby Dick” author Herman Melville is committing $1.5 million to the University of Kansas.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the gift from retired English professor Elizabeth Schultz will be used to establish a permanent professorship named after the literary giant.

The 80-year-old Schultz first read and fell in love with “Moby Dick” as an undergraduate at Wellesley College and has re-read it often. She says the 1851 classic explores topics that remain relevant. She says it’s changed her life and hopes the professorship will extend the same opportunity to future generations of readers.

Besides Melville, the writers to be emphasized with the professorship include Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman.