1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

1780 | The Official Blog of Transylvania University

Transylvania Special Collections champion Charles Ambrose honored at National Philanthropy Day

Charles Ambrose
Charles Ambrose, right, with President Williams, received a 2010 Outstanding Community Honoree award November 10.

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Charles T. Ambrose received a 2010 Outstanding Community Honoree award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Bluegrass Chapter at a National Philanthropy Day luncheon November 10. The program celebrates those who have made a significant contribution of time and resources to nonprofit agencies, therefore enhancing the quality of life in the community. Ambrose, a professor of microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and a widely published expert on medical history, was nominated by Transylvania University.  

“Soon after Dr. Ambrose’s first visit to Transylvania in 2007, he embarked on a mission to tell the world about the books and instruments used in the old Transylvania Medical Department from 1799-1859 that are still kept in our Special Collections,” said Mark Blankenship, acting vice president for alumni and development.  

First, Ambrose conceived the idea of hosting a symposium on Transylvania’s role in early medical education. The event attracted historians, physicians, teachers and others—including a Smithsonian Institution curator who studied Transylvania’s nineteenth-century medical collection.

To continue the conversation among symposium attendees and to make others aware of Transylvania’s unique holdings, Ambrose offered to underwrite a publication, “Transylvania Treasures,” that would tell the story of the school’s rich past. Eight issues have been published since 2008, and Ambrose is a frequent contributor.

“Transylvania Treasures” has been extremely well received and has won numerous awards, including the 2009 Gold Award—the highest available—in a competition sponsored by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, which has 3,400 members from 61 countries.

“Dr. Ambrose has raised awareness of Transylvania’s rare books, documents, scientific artifacts and portraits, but more importantly, he is helping to ensure that these treasures are properly preserved and that students and scholars continue to have access to them,” said Blankenship.

Others recognized at national Philanthropy Day included Transylvania trustee Pearse Lyons and his wife, Dierdre, who received the Distinguished Philanthropist Award, and the late Sam Barnes, who served on Transylvania’s Board of Trustees for 15 years and was named a 2010 Outstanding Community Honoree.  

To read “Transylvania Treasures” online, click here.