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UMass Dartmouth Library Renovation Campaign Begins with nearly $3 Million in Commitments

Library  named in honor of UMass Dartmouth alumna, former trustee, and advocate Claire T. Carney.

UMass Dartmouth kicked of a major library renovation campaign tonight, announcing nearly $3 million in private gifts and the naming of the library in honor of alumna, former trustee, and staunch advocate Claire T. Carney at the first annual "Blue & Gold Gala."

The gala, held in the library, attracted more than 500 members of the region's corporate and civic community. The campaign, the first major capital campaign in UMass Dartmouth history, is designed to raise $6 million in private funds to be matched by $4 million in university funds to renovate the 250,000 square foot facility that opened 35 years ago.

"What brings us together tonight is the beginning of a new dream to transform this library into a powerful engine of educational opportunity" Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack said. "Tonight is about ideas that have already been shared and those yet to be formed. With your help we embark on a $10 million project that will foster a community of scholars, encourage innovative teaching and learning, support research that matters to our region and Commonwealth, and sustain important cultural archives that celebrate our collective history and culture."

Chancellor MacCormack described Claire Carney as "an extraordinary role model for us all, a strong supporter of this university, and an inspirational advocate of public higher education. As a student, alumna, mother, and former campus trustee, Claire T. Carney is an enduring example of the power of education to transform the lives of individuals and families."

Among those playing a leadership role in the effort are Fall River businessman and former UMass Board chairman Robert Karam and former state Senator William Q. MacLean, who recently agreed to co-chair the UMass Dartmouth Foundation Development Committee.

"UMass Dartmouth is the engine that drives the economic and social development of our region," MacLean and Karam said in a joint statement. "We have joined this cause because we believe it is imperative that the community join with the Commonwealth in supporting the university's growth agenda."

Major gifts include: an anonymous leadership pledge of $2 million; additional anonymous gifts of $100,000 and $30,000; $100,000 from William and Mary Jane MacLean and the MacLean Charitable Foundation; $75,000 from Dr. Mel Yoken and his wife Cindy, and $75,000 from Frank Sousa Jr.

Ron Xavier, President of Silver City Aluminum Corp. in Taunton, led the committee that organized the gala. "As an alumnus, the seeds of my personal and professional success were sown at UMass Dartmouth," Xavier said. "It is now critical to the future of all southeastern Massachusetts, from Taunton to the SouthCoast, that we re-invest in the university so it can continue to create educational opportunity and spin off new ideas that strengthen the economic and civic life of our communities. I want to thank Chancellor MacCormack, her staff and the many volunteers who contributed their ideas and energy to the first-ever Blue and Gold Gala."

Gala sponsors include: Sodexho, Cardoza's Wine and Spirits, The Chickering Group, Coca Cola, Colonial Wholesale Beverages, Comcast, Global Glass, Global Partners, Ikon Office Solutions, The Jarabek Foundation, L&E Party Rentals, Macx Incorporated, New Bedford Floor Covering, Reynolds Dewalt Printing, Dr. Richard Ward, and Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Xavier.

Opened in 1972, the library at UMass Dartmouth is one of the largest academic libraries south of Boston, serving more than 300,000 students, faculty and regional residents. It holds more than 460,000 volumes spanning a diversity of subjects that reflect what is taught at the university and the interests of the local community.

The major renovations include:

A new front lobby
A 5,000 square foot expansion to the north will be accomplished by glassing in an area between the library and the Group II lecture halls. This will provide a compelling entrance and new areas for students and faculty to gather and exchange ideas.

Fostering a Community of Scholars
The Library will be a place that fosters community. Expansion and renovation of the first floor will create larger and better space for public presentations and lectures, along with a cafe and meeting places. The library will draw in students, faculty, staff and visitors in an engaging way.

Innovative Teaching and Learning
The Library will better meet the needs of active "net generation" learners through newly-created spaces designed for collaborative study, including a learning commons where group work, mentoring and consultation will be the norm. The library will also offer improved spaces for quiet, individual study.

Supporting Research and Scholarship
The Library will continue to support research and scholarship through its collections and research services. Current space will be redesigned and renovated to house the growing collection of books and journals. Well-designed, complementary physical and virtual services and access points will meet the needs of the campus and region.

An Important and State-of-the-Art Archive
Enlarged and properly designed spaces will meet the access and preservation needs of the library's expanding general collection and collections of regional and national interest. A new space will be built to serve as a permanent home for the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, giving visitors and scholars a place to observe, learn, research, study, and interact.

An Inspirational Space
The architecture, purposeful spaces, furnishings, lighting, information technology and general ambience of the Library will combine to produce an experience of intellectual richness, higher purpose, and inspiration. The Library will integrate the surrounding campus, invite community, and provide a stimulating environment for discourse and discovery. It will be a compelling centerpiece to a vibrant university, symbolizing its nature and aspirations.

Author:  "John Hoey"
Date:  16-Oct-2006
Department:   News & Public Information

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