Giving Back by Giving Books

When John Hoy T’67 was a student at Duke, the library wasn’t a place you could simply browse around. The stacks were closed to undergraduates, and librarians weren’t always trained to be as warm and friendly as they are today.

Nevertheless, the Florida circuit court judge has fond memories of the countless hours he spent studying in the Gothic Reading Room, absorbing the lessons of American and world history. And his ties to the university remain strong today. He volunteers with the Alumni Association to interview prospective students applying to Duke, and he and his wife Alesia are the proud parents of one son who is a Duke graduate and another who is about to be.

Their older son Alex earned a bachelor’s degree in 2009, double-majoring in political science and history and minoring in economics. Their younger son Logan will graduate this spring with a double major in electrical and computer engineering and economics. Logan has also been accepted into Duke’s Master of Engineering Management program. He has already started coursework in that program and expects to complete the degree in 2013.

According to John, both boys practically lived in Perkins Library. “So why wouldn’t I say thanks?” he said. The Hoy family has supported the Duke Libraries for many years, and in many ways. A group study room in Bostock Library is named in honor of John’s parents, Franklin and Margaret Hoy. And John and Alesia regularly contribute to the Libraries’ annual fund.

John Hoy (right) with wife Alesia and son Logan in the Gothic Reading Room

This year, John wanted to do something different with his annual donation. He still wanted to support the Libraries, but he also wanted to personalize his gift in some way. John looked into the Libraries’ Honoring with Books program, which allows you to pay tribute to a special person by naming a book in their honor. For $100, the library will purchase a book in a subject area of your choosing. An electronic bookplate will be added to the book’s online catalog listing, noting that the title has been provided in recognition of the honoree.

John liked the idea so much he named books in memory of each of his parents, and in honor of his wife and both sons. “It was a way to say thank you to my parents, to tell my children how proud I am of them, and to express my love for my wife,” he said.

Best of all, it’s a gift that has a lasting impact. And it comes with the satisfaction of knowing that the people who have enriched our lives will continue, in some small way, to enrich the lives of others.

“The Beach Boys said it best,” John said. “Be true to your school.”


About the Honoring with Books Program
Honoring someone with a library book is a wonderful way to thank and acknowledge parents, grandparents, children, friends, colleagues, and others who have enriched our lives. It’s also a great way mark important milestones, such as birthdays, births, weddings, anniversaries, retirements, and personal achievements. Visit the Honoring with Books website to find out more.

One thought on “Giving Back by Giving Books”

  1. Too bad Mr Hoy hadn’t been born a woman. The Woman’s College Library at Duke (later East Campus Library and today the Lilly Library) was always open-stacks! Regardless, book donations are the gift that keeps on giving.

Comments are closed.