Builders of the Friedsam Collection

A History of the People, Important to Building the Collection of Friedsam Memorial Library



Michael Friedsam

Herscher, O.F.M.

William Farley

Hugh A. Grant

List of library directors

Joachim Guerrini, O.F.M.

T. Edward & Tullah Hanley

Joe Kotcka

Samuel J. Lasser

 Al H. Nothem

Archives Albert O'Brien, O.F.M. Dorothy Godfrey Wayman     Notes

Hugh A. Grant

   Hugh A. Grant was born in 1911, and lived in Bradford, Pennsylvania.  He attended college at Georgetown University.  He helped establish the Grant & Mohan Oil Co. in 1934, and served as its president for fourteen years, until he sold it.  Mr. Grant had a deep interest in St. Bonaventure University, so much that he named one of his horses after the school.  During his life, Grant made numerous donations to St. Bonaventure’s library, including an unrestricted gift of $200,000.  It is important to note, that Grant never wanted any recognition for the benefactions that he made, and often insisted that he would only make donations under the condition that no publicity would be brought to him or his donations.

    The donations given by Samuel Lasser are very closely related to the donations made by Mr. Hugh A. Grant.  There are many instances where these men gave donations as a joint effort.  Wherever Samuel Lasser's name is mentioned in relation to a donation that was underwritten by another anonymous donor, that anonymous donor was Hugh A. Grant.  This shows that Grant was very serious about not seeking any praise, publicity, or recognition for his philanthropic work.  Together, Lasser and Grant paid for the new edition of the papers of Woodrow Wilson, and shared expenses for bringing Dr. Aloyiis Ruppel and his wife from Mainz, Germany to St. Bonaventure, so that he could receive an honorary degree from the University.  These men also jointly gave the library a 14th century Latin manuscript Bible which had at one time belonged to the Franciscan Friary at Walsingham, England.  The largest benefaction Grant and Lasser made together was the Vatican Microfilm Collection.  For over a decade they added thousands of titles of rare and precious books to this set.  Samuel Lasser and Hugh Grant were also connected through a woman named Agnes J. Wise, who was Grant's secretary and aunt.  Several donations were given in the name of Ms. Wise by Lasser and Grant, including the Vatican Microfilm Collection and a copy of the Bomberg Bible, a very rare and famous printed version of the Hebrew Bible done in Venice in 1521, and a complete copy of the Glossa Ordinaria.


From Left to Right: Hugh Grant, Fr. Irenaeus Herscher, Samuel Lasser, and Father Brian Lhota

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Last updated:  12/18/12