Women’s Library Association volunteer was longtime DU employee

As a longtime member of the Women’s Library Association (WLA), Dorothy von Drehle ascribes to founding member Marion Gottesfeld’s belief that “a great university must have at its heart a great library.”

Von Drehle also demonstrates that a great university must have at its heart dedicated and selfless volunteers.

Despite her retirement in 1995 after 16 years working for DU’s business college and advancement office, von Drehle has remained a continuous presence on campus through her involvement with the WLA. For 18 years she has donated her time and energy to the organization, which provides financial support toPenrose Library.

The primary fundraiser for the WLA is the Book Stack, a used bookstore located on the first-floor of the Mary Reed Building. By June 2008 the shop had already raised $30,000.

Von Drehle’s role as Book Stack co-chair and volunteer coordinator routinely requires her to spend at least 12 hours a week at the University, but she hardly considers it a burden.

“My mother and father taught me that you always have to give back,” she says. “For people to sit around and not find a way to give to their community is their loss.”

Over the years von Drehle has given back in many ways, including providing room and board to several DU students whose financial situations almost forced them to drop out.

Von Drehle says volunteering with the WLA gives her the opportunity to continue the relationships she developed while working at the University and affords her the opportunity to interact with young people.

Despite everything von Drehle’s volunteerism has done for the University, she praises it for giving her “friendships, continued energy and interest in the world around me.”

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