For the love of libraries, Dr. George Hess gave the Pierce County Library Foundation its largest gift from an individual of $50,000. Hess gave the significant donation, in the memory and honor of Adriana Hess, his wife, who was a well-known community activist.
“Adriana, our children and so many families and people we know love the Pierce County Libraries,” said Hess. “I could not think of a better place to give back to the community, than Pierce County Libraries, a place that gives and gives to our communities and our families every year.”
Residents may attend a reception at University Place Pierce County Library, 3605 Bridgeport Way W., on Thursday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m., to dedicate a study room in the name of George and Adrianna Hess and celebrate the Hess’ generous gift. To attend, contact the Library Foundation at (253) 536-6500, ext. 103. Library and Foundation leaders will determine specific plans for the gift when the city of University Place and the Library finalize plans for the new University Place Library, which will be built in the Windmill Village at 37th Street as part of University Place’s Town Center.
According to Hess, the library was always one of his wife’s favorite places. Hess said she was a frequent visitor to libraries throughout her life. Hess is a regular visitor to Pierce County Libraries.
Adriana Orlebeke Hess (1910-1998) moved with George to the University Place area in 1954 and formed many community organizations and charges, including Curtis High School Scholarship Fund, University Place Community Council, University Place Park and Recreation District and Save (later Serve) Our University Place, which protected property from land development. She served as a commissioner in the University Place Park District for 10 years.
George Hess, a general practitioner, opened the first medical office in the University Place area. From 1956-1960, Hess served as medical director of St. Joseph Hospital Multiple Sclerosis Clinic and then from 1963-1969, as director of University Place School Board. Hess published “Living at your Best with MS” and “Living Well Past 60.”
“Making a gift to the Library wasn’t a hard decision,” said Hess. “If you’re interested in anything you can find it at the library.”
Pierce County Library’s Foundation extends library programs beyond tax-based funding, with gifts from individuals, businesses and foundations. The Foundation helps fund literacy and reading programs to reach unserved and underserved communities throughout the county.