Donor profile: Kenlee Ray

“It’s a rare day that my life isn’t enriched by something that I learned at UMSI – whether it’s approaching a task or challenge in a more organized way or quickly finding information to better understand a current topic or problem,” says 1968 graduate Kenlee Ray.

Kenlee’s UMSI education and a recommendation from the head of the Anglo-American law division of the Library of Congress led her to a job at Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan - which in turn led her to a job as the first law librarian at the World Bank. She retired from the World Bank as Senior Information Officer, but also served as Head of Reference for the joint Bank/Fund Library and Acting Division Chief of the Records Management Division in the Bank’s Corporate Secretariat.

Kenlee grew up seeing her family help the community, and giving back in terms of time, talent and money are values that have carried forward into her life as well. Kenlee has been a major supporter of the North Quad Academic and Residential Complex, home to the UMSI community since July 2010. She says she was especially excited about this project because it “invited students and faculty to learn with all of their senses.” The Kenlee Ray Meeting Room at North Quad was dedicated during the North Quad official opening event in March 2011. 

Since retiring, Kenlee has devoted much of her time to volunteer service, including a stint at the Mpumelelo School Library in rural Zimbabwe as part of a pilot program sponsored by the World Library Partnership and the Rural Libraries and Resources Development Programme.  “I lived with a Ndebele family in Matabeleland North in a remote area which lacked electricity and drove a donkey-powered bookmobile,” she says. 

When asked what she hopes her gifts to UMSI have accomplished she says, “UMSI’s strength is that it offers a balance of theory, discovery and experimentation, and practical application and that it continuously strives to reinvent itself. I hope my gifts encourage collaboration to foster these strengths.”

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