A month ago, I posted an "SOS for DARE," detailing the impending financial threat faced by the Dictionary of American Regional English, a national treasure of lexicography. At the time it appeared that the College of Letters and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, where DARE is based, would be unable to provide support to offset the loss of federal and private grant money. But now there's finally some good news out of Madison, in the form of new funds from the University and external gifts.
UW-Madison News reports:
Last month, the financial picture looked bleak for the Dictionary of American Regional English.
But the picture has improved with a $100,000 gift from an anonymous donor, announced last week following the dictionary's Board of Visitors meeting in Chicago, and a $30,000 gift from the American Dialect Society — the group that in 1962 asked the late Frederic Cassidy, a UW-Madison English professor, to create a dictionary of dialects of American English.
The dictionary known as DARE is also receiving one-time funding of $100,000 in non-tuition, non-state funding from the UW-Madison College of Letters & Science, which has been working with the dictionary staff to develop a new business plan to attract more new donors to the project. Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Paul DeLuca and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Darrell Bazzell have also committed $130,000 a year in central campus support for DARE for the next three years.
While this is indeed welcome news, DARE will still need to rely on the generosity of private donors to fund much of its budget in coming years. If you're interested in contributing, just click the "Donate" button on the DARE home page.
Update: Here's some local coverage of the news, from WKOW Madison:
Update #2: Gifts have continued to pour in, as Mark Johnson reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.