Anna Marie “Maura” King Buri was born in Ireland in 1933 and immigrated to the US in 1958. She started working in the new Villanova Law School library shortly after its construction and stayed for 54 years. She met her husband Bill at Villanova and raised a family in Conshohocken. In the early years of Villanova Law School the library was ground zero and the books were the heart of the library – and Maura guarded them fiercely. For many years she was in charge of the “Periodicals Room” in Garey Hall that housed and protected the hot current issues of law reviews, and she worked personally with individual students to obtain resources they needed. She made arrangements with the Geiser Family Binding Company of Philadelphia for permanent binding of law review volumes. And in 1980 she was the first to try the new microform reader with the complete Legal Resource Index. By then law reviews were available on Westlaw and the print issues were less critical, so Maura moved upstairs to work at the circulation desk where she guarded reserve materials just as fiercely and served students just as well. It was said she was the only staff member with enough clout to recover long overdue and needed materials from delinquent faculty members! When she retired in 2013 she was the only person in law school history who had worked with every faculty and staff member since inception. She was also a walking archive of memories about 50 years of law students, including Doris Brogan who was a law student here in Maura’s third decade! Those who knew her valued her dedication and determination, her Irish manners and memories, and her embrace of diversity at Villanova. For many it is hard to imagine the Villanova Law Library without her.
This award is named in honor of Maura Buri to recognize the incredible impact she has had on the Library and the wider Villanova Law School Community and to support students who carry on her dedication to excellence in legal research. The prize will be given out annually to one student who meets the criteria and is currently seeking a degree from the Law School.