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$1.5 Million Gift From N.Y. Businessman Will Fund New Poe/Faulkner Writing Fellowship At U.Va.

June 25, 2001-- With a $1.5 million gift from Paul G. Kimball of New York, the University of Virginia will create a fellowship fund named for two celebrated American writers long associated with the school, Edgar Allen Poe and William Faulkner. The Poe/Faulkner Fellowship Fund will support graduate students in the University's master's of fine arts program in creative writing.

By providing full support for two students entering the creative-writing program each year, the Poe/Faulkner fellowships will greatly enhance its ability to recruit talented writers. The fund also will help the highly ranked program move closer to its goal of providing full fellowship support for all its MFA candidates.

"We are seeking the most talented writers in the world," said Melvyn P. Leffler, dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. "Paul Kimball's generous gift substantially increases our ability to compete for them. At U.Va., we have some of the nation's most distinguished writers and poets, and we want to recruit the best students to work with them."

In U.S. News and World Report magazine's most recent rankings, the University of Virginia's graduate creative-writing program tied for fourth place with Columbia University. The program is highly regarded for its distinguished faculty, who include a winners of National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize and a former U.S. poet laureate.

The publishing record of its graduates also sets the program apart. In the past five years, they have won such honors as the Prix de Rome, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, the Yale Younger Poets Prize, and the Academy of American Poets' Walt Whitman Award. Two graduates were nominated for the 2001 National Book Critics' Circle Award.

Paul Kimball, whose daughter Elizabeth received a master's degree in English from the University in May, is managing director and co-head of foreign exchange at Morgan Stanley.

A leading expert in global financial markets, Kimball chairs the foreign-exchange committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which includes representatives from major international banks and brokers active in foreign-exchange markets. A member of the board of directors of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, he also chairs FXA11, a 13-bank consortium, and serves on the board of CLS, a private company owned by 63 financial institutions whose goal is to eliminate foreign exchange settlement risk.

* * *

Born in 1809, Edgar Allen Poe entered the University in 1826, a year after its founding, and distinguished himself as a student of ancient and modern languages. He left after one term because of financial difficulties. Poe died in 1849.

William Faulkner became the University's first writer in residence in 1957. He remained at U.Va. as a consultant to the University Library and a lecturer in the English department during the last years of his life. Born in 1897, Faulkner died in 1962.

Contact: Ken Kipps, (434) 243-8960

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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