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Spaces Dedicated in Catawba's Newly Renovated Library

February 18, 2008

Category: Academics, Events

Library LayoutSpaces in Catawba College's Newly Renovated Corriher-Linn-Black Library were dedicated Monday, Feb. 18. Donors, who made contributions to fund the renovation, were recognized with spaces named in their honor during a special luncheon ceremony held in the library.


  • Alumni Bryan '66 and Helen Ertl '67   Applefield of Dothan, Alabama / the patio of the library. Bryan serves as a trustee of the college.
  • Alumna Anne Blodgett Bashore '34 of Cornwall, Pennsylvania / the reading area of the library.
  • Frances C. Cannon of Davidson, formerly of Kannapolis / the study room on the main floor in the library.
  • Lois Busby Goodman of Salisbury / the library's mezzanine. Lois is the widow of the late Enoch Goodman, a member of Catawba's class of 1938 and a member of the Board of Trustees for 50 years.
  • Alumnus Bill Hall '66 and wife Rosemary of Salisbury / a study room in the library. Bill is past president of the Catawba Chiefs Club and now serves on its board.
      Those recognized and the spaces dedicated in their honor include: ;

    Photo Gallery of Those Recognized ;
  • Frances Hedrick Johnson of Salisbury, a trustee emeritus of Catawba / the classroom on the main floor of the library.
  • Alumnus Jeffrey Landreth '67 and wife Margaret of Manteo / a study room in the library.
  • Alumnus John H. Lewis '59 and wife Betty of Salisbury / a study room in the library.
  • Alumna Barbara L. Marshall '72 of Cary / a study room in the library.   She serves on Catawba's Board of Visitors as its vice chair.
  • Alumna Edith Weant Peeler '40 of Salisbury / the technical services area of the library.
  • Alumna Marion Purcell '36 of Salisbury / the reading area of the library.
  • Bill and Nancy Stanback of Salisbury / the information commons of the library.    
  • Catawba College employee Jacquelyn Sims, with 30 years of service to the institution / the reference and circulation area of the library.

New Archives Dedicated
So Close to My HeartThe William F. Palmer Archives was dedicated to late Dr. William F. Palmer of Salisbury, a 1956 alumnus of Catawba, a retired faculty member in the teacher education department, and College archivist and historian. Dr. Palmer's family was inextricably linked to Catawba, dating back to the institution's days in Newton. His parents were both graduates of Old Catawba and his sister, Dr. Etna McCullough, was a member of Catawba's Class of 1936. Dr. McCullough was one of the first females to earn a medical degree and later was a practicing physician in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

As a special tribute to mark the dedication of the William F. Palmer Archives, copies of the book that Dr. Palmer was working on at the time of his death, entitled So Close to My Heart: Memories of Catawba College in Newton, North Carolina, were signed and given to those attending the dedication. The book was published thanks to the dedication of Dr. Palmer's wife, Anne, the work of Dr. Gary Freeze, and the support of Dr. Palmer's sister, Dr. McCullough.

The Library Renovation
The successful renovation of the Corriher-Linn-Black Library happened in less than two years, moving from a vague vision of what the library could become to the renovated and functional space. Under the leadership of College Provost Dr. Jesse McCartney and Dean of General Education Philip Acree Cavalier, a group of librarians and faculty joined together in the spring of 2006 to form a building committee. This group collectively shepherded the project over the next year and a half. In addition to the College Librarians Jacquelyn Sims, Amanda Nash, Steve McKinzie, Constance Grant, and Keith Engwall, the committee enlisted a diverse collection of faculty members including Dr. Gordon Grant, associate professor of English, Joanna Jasper, chief information officer, Dr. Renee McCachren, chair of the Music Department, and Christopher Zink, associate professor of Theatre Arts.

Photo Gallery of Those RecognizedThe committee initially confronted a host of difficulties. The collection had to be moved out of the unrenovated building, housed, and then moved back in again. Much of the interior had to be redesigned, and construction crews had to abate asbestos from the structure and reconfigure larger areas in the lower that had previously belonged to the computer services department.  

The college secured the talents of Diane Gibbs with the local architectural firm, Ramsay – Burgin – Smith Architects, to redesign the building and James Oaks of Lawler Woods to oversee the project.   David Hartman of Summit Development headed up much of the day-to-day construction of the building, while Henry Haywood, the College's facility manager, offered invaluable on-site support. In the final stages, Oliver Scott, assistant to the president for specialEvents, joined the team and offered suggestions for enhancing the interior design.  

"It was an extraordinarily talented group," said Steve McKinzie. "They were people who knew how to listen, and they knew how work to reach a consensus. It was very much a team effort. The renovated library structure reflects that."      

The building attempts to wed the charm and eloquence of an earlier era with the sophistication and comfort of the present.   The main level features a large reading room and information commons with sets of large gothic windows allowing plenty of natural light. The main level also boasts a state-of-the-art instruction room with projection capabilities and 33 computers. Just above the main level and overlooking the information commons, the mezzanine offers soft seating flanked by an array of attractive study rooms. Most of the collection, aside from the reference collection on the main level, is housed in the lower level.        


PhotoPHOTOS: Dedication of Corriher-Linn-Black Library Spaces


VIRTUAL TOUR of the Renovated Library




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