Hall of Fame Member Biographies

Sul H. Lee

Humankind’s only true treasure is the record of the explorations, the discoveries, and the thoughts of our ancestors; this treasure is stored in libraries, and the guardian of the treasure is the Librarian. The heart of every university is its library, and the superintendence of the library’s resources will be instrumental in the education the university provides its undergraduates, the strength of the contributions of its graduate students, and the power of the research of its faculty. Sul H. Lee has served as Dean of the University of Oklahoma Library for 34 years and has led it to a national greatness. He increased the library’s endowment from $60,000 in 1978 to $25 million in 2012; to do so, he established the Bizzell Library Society. In 1981, he started a major national library conference hosted in Oklahoma City that attracts international participation. He was instrumental in the planning and fundraising for an expansion of library space, the Doris W. Neustadt Wing, adding 92,000 square feet of space to the library. Special mention must be made of his care and expansion of special collections: the History of Science Collections, considered one of the ten best in the world; the Harry W. Bass-Business History Collection; the Western History Collection; the John and Mary Nichols Rare Books and Special Collection; and the Bizzell Bible Collection. The general collection also grew from approximately 1.5 million volumes to more than 5.5 million volumes. He has been the editor of the Journal of Library Administration continuously since 1978 and has edited numerous books on library administration. At present he has been instrumental in launching the Books that Inspire exhibition. For his grand achievements in fostering the dissemination of knowledge in the state, it is with pride the Society inducts Sul H. Lee into the Higher Education Hall of Fame.