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UHV publisher in residence donates $15,000 in employee giving campaign

The founder of an internationally renowned nonprofit literary organization housed at the University of Houston-Victoria made a record-breaking contribution as part of the university’s employee giving campaign.

John O’Brien

Sir John O’Brien, UHV’s publisher in residence and founder of Dalkey Archive Press, gave $15,000 to the university as part of the UHV All for One – One for All campaign. In 2015, O’Brien was named a knight in the French Ordes des Arts et Lettres by France’s ambassador to Ireland.

“Sir John O’Brian’s exceptional, financial contribution is the largest, single gift from a current UHV employee in this campaign,” said Jesse Pisors, UHV vice president for advancement & external relations. “This type of leadership from a faculty member is special and, we hope, inspirational to others in the community.”

O’Brien designated his donation for the Dalkey Archive Press. It will be used to support the publication of the literary works in translation and other work done by the nonprofit press. Dalkey moved to UHV last summer, and the university will add a training and certificate program in literary translation in the summer.

Dalkey Archive Press

“Commercial publishing has essentially given up on publishing poetry, unconventional fiction and literary translations because they do not make money,” O’Brien said. “Although people perfectly understand why ballet, museums and symphony orchestras must depend upon donations, not just to exist, but to be effective and reach as many people as possible, they do not know about nonprofit publishing and its importance in our culture.”

The UHV All for One – One for All campaign started in 2006 as a way for UHV employees to give back to the university. “All for One” refers to everyone donating to UHV, and “One for All” refers to employees who give 1 percent of their salary back to the university, Pisors said.

Jesse Pisors

Employees who contribute to the campaign are able to donate in one lump sum or through regular withholdings from their paychecks. In addition, all employee contributions are matched by the university, which doubles the impact. The program also allows employees to choose which areas of the university will receive their contributions.

“I think that ‘All For One’ is a model giving program because the donor knows his gift will go so much farther when it is matched by the university,” O’Brien said. “Making this donation was a way of helping Dalkey Archive Press, a nonprofit of which I am the publisher. It was not only an opportunity for me to help support a cause I greatly believe in and have given more than 35 years of my life to, but UHV’s matching made my gift go twice as far.”

In addition to its direct impact with Dalkey Archive Press, O’Brien’s donation will help UHV, Pisors said. Dalkey has a strong, widespread reputation in nonprofit and international publishing circles, and as it grows and develops at UHV, influential people around the world will become aware of the university.

“Dalkey already is making an impact at UHV,” Pisors said. “The publisher’s efforts are helping to make students aware of the world of literature and publishing.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as a teaching center in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities, and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.