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The C.W. Bill Young Technology Center
Chairman Young is, by any standard, a great public servant, a great Floridian, and a great American. He has championed biomedical research and fought for federal funding for a variety of medical issues, including an increased immunization rate for preschoolers, improved public health programs nationwide, and cures for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Diseases. The "C. W. Bill Young Marrow Donor Recruitment and Research Program" lists more than five million volunteer donors for patients with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases and has served as a model for similar programs throughout the world.
Few have served with the skill and dedication of Chairman Young. At Eckerd College's Commencement Ceremony in May 2003, Congressman Young was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition for his advocacy of the needs of the residents of Pinellas County and the citizens of this nation. Today, we are honored to name The C.W. Bill Young Technology Center in recognition of Chairman Young's support of Eckerd College, which made possible the state-of-the-art technology found in and emanating from The Peter H. Armacost Library throughout the campus. Representing Congressman Young here today is George Cretekos.
William H. Kadel Meeting and Study Area
As Bill Kadel's grand-daughter, Stephanie Kadel, a 1989 aluma, writes in her history of the early years of Eckerd College, On Solid Rock: The Founding Vision of Florida Presbyterian/Eckerd College, Bill Kadel was quoted in a 1958 newspaper article as saying, "A God-fearing man has nothing to fear from scholarship. Man only discovers God's truths." She continues, "While not an academic scholar himself, and clearly hired as FPC's first president in order to represent the College to the church community, Kadel's discoveries of God's truths in his own life had led him down several unexpected paths, of which college president was the latest."
The seventh of nine children, Bill earned his undergraduate degree at Gettysburg College and then attended Western Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh. In 1936, when he married Katharine Kay Naylor, a girl he'd met in church camp, he promised her that he would always be a small-town preacher. Little did he know then what the future held. After serving as an army air force chaplain in World War II, Bill was called to be the minister at Palm Ceia Presbyterian Church in Tampa, Florida. During that time, he earned his doctor of theology degree at Union Seminary, and soon after became the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Orlando, Florida. In the summer of 1958, when Bill Kadel accepted the call to become the founding president of Florida Presbyterian College, he opened a temporary office in an empty storefront in Orlando. A local bank loaned Bill some furniture, and the Board of Trustees gave him $ 25.00 as a petty cash fund. On his first day in his new role as president, Dr. Kadel said to his long-time secretary, Emma Conboy, "Well, what do we need to start a college?" Conboy replied, "Paper and pencils would be a good start." So Dr. Kadel reached in his pocket and handed her some petty cash to buy office supplies.
President Kadel's early vision of the College, outlined for a newspaper report in 1958, called for well-rounded graduates, vocationally qualified and spiritually consecrated. The future college would send graduates out into society with the finest kind of academic preparation and loyalty to the highest ideals known to mankind É"
Bill Kadel's son Dick and daughter-in-law Karen, both founding freshmen at Florida Presbyterian College, cut the ribbon today in honor and memory of the College's founding president. Thank you, Dick and Karen.
The Chesnut Family Reference Area
David Jon Chesnut received his BA in Psychology from Eckerd in 1975 and his father, Professor Emeritus J. Stanley Chesnut served on the humanities and religion faculty for 27 years from 1963-1990. Stan, a well-known member of ASPEC and a long-time Board member of the Friends of the Library, encouraged his children to join him in financially supporting this area. His other children, James Stephen Chesnut and Theresa Leigh Chesnut McKittrick also attended Eckerd College; both regret not being able to attend today's ceremony. The College extends its gratitude to the Chesnut family.
Thomas Dreier Grand Reading Room
Thomas Dreier, described as "a gentleman of the old school," died at the age of 92 in September 1976. News articles published when he died refer to him as a writer, editor, philosopher, and philanthropist; he liked to refer to himself as a vagabond. He was truly a remarkable individual to whom libraries were the most important resource available to the public. He served as permanent chairman of the Friends of the Library for the city of St. Petersburg and as the statewide chairman of a library association. He was naturally drawn to the Florida Presbyterian College library when it was constructed. He established an irrevocable trust to benefit the library in 1964 with over $110,000 in assorted stocks. It was this gift that was recognized in the naming of the Thomas Dreier Reading Room in the original library. The area we dedicate today is named not only as a tribute to Mr. Dreier for his generous support of the College's first library, but we honor him also for his commitment to humanity. In 1967, three faculty members - Ken Keeton, professor of German; Keith Irwin, professor of philosophy; and Alan Carlsten, the College's chaplain - marched in Selma against segregation. When several trustees threatened to leave the Board in protest against the faculty's march, Mr. Dreier stepped forward and announced that he personally would contribute to the College sums equal to the donations that would have been made by departing trustees. For those reasons, too, I am proud to dedicate this area today. Mr. Dreier was a friend to many at the College, including Bill Kadel, Alton Glasure, Bob Stewart, and Billy O. Wireman. It was Dr. Wireman who made sure that Mr. Dreier received the last Honorary Doctorate presented by Florida Presbyterian College at the May 1972 graduation.
The Thomas Dreier family is being represented today by Gail Michael, whose mother Mary was married to Mr. Dreier from 1960 until his death, and her husband, Bob. They will cut the ribbon in Mr. Dreier's memory.
The Xerographics Copy Room in Memory of Barry Carter
The family-owned business, Xerographics, has provided on-site document services at Eckerd College since 1989. The Carter Family, today represented by Rick and Lew Carter, their sister Nancy Thomas, and their mother Kay Carter, have requested that the Xerographics Copy room be named in memory of Barry Carter, who died shortly after his 24th birthday in 1992. The family has been actively involved in the life of all who work and study at Eckerd College by providing first-rate copiers, printers, and related services to the entire campus community. We are grateful for their support of the copy room in the library. The Carter Family would like to present their fourth major gift to the College today.
The Leopoldo and Luigia Cimato/Norman and Majorie Smith Reading Room and the Mirella Cimato Smith Study Area
It is my distinct pleasure to share publicly with Mirella Cimato Smith, the news regarding two wonderful rooms that her husband, Norman R. Smith, has supported and has tried to keep as a surprise until now from his wife of 33 years. Is it still a secret, Norm? The first is the Leopoldo and Luigia Cimato and the Norman and Majorie Smith Reading Room, named in honor of their deceased parents. The second is the Mirella Cimato Smith Study Area.
Norm, as many of you know, currently serves as the Director of the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College. An accomplished scientist, with a Ph. D. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan, Norm had a distinguished career with Proctor and Gamble and holds the patents for some of their most successful products, including Joy Dish Washing Liquid and Mr. Clean. As generous supporters of the College who give freely of their time, talents, and resources, Norm and Mirella can often be seen in our classrooms, at campus films and lectures, athletic events, and almost everything sponsored by ASPEC.
Thank you, Norm and Mirella, for adding this fine library to the long list of projects and programs at the College that you support, including scholarship programs, our athletic teams and the renovation of Lewis House.
The Friends of the Library Room - Sponsored by Betty Williams
I am deeply saddened that our next benefactor, Betty Jane Williams, died before we could thank her publicly for her commitment to our library. As many of you know, Betty died exactly one month ago, on January 18. Betty was an active member of ASPEC, editing the Aspects magazine as well as writing many of the articles contained within this publication. Born in Cleveland, she served as an editor for the American Association of University Women, director of publications for America Home Economics Association, and president of the Educational Press Association in Washington, DC. She and her husband, Maurice, who is with us today, traveled widely while he served in the Foreign Service. A true Eckerd College giver, Betty served faithfully on the Friends of the Library Board and was the former President of the Board. In recognition of how much she valued that experience, she asked to sponsor the Friends of the Library Room. In addition to this financial support, the Williams also gave over $100,000 to establish the Maurice J. Williams Endowed International Relations Scholarship in March 1999. Thank you, Maurice, for your and your wife's thoughtful involvement with and support of Eckerd students.
The Burchenal Archives
William Burchenal, Jr. is a 1989 graduate of the Program for Experienced Learners who majored in history. He served on the College's Board of Trustees from 1997 to 2000. Fascinated with history, he has established a charitable remainder annuity trust to benefit Eckerd College which will establish an endowment to underwrite a Chair in pre-1877 American History. His other gifts to the College include support to name the PEL Lounge in the Hough Center and most recently endowing the Burchenal Scholarship in History. Unfortunately, Mr. Burchenal is unable to be with us today, and we will hold a private ribbon-cutting ceremony for him at a later date.
The Samuel A. Banks Study Area
Dr. Joanne Trautmann Banks planned a gift in memory of Dr. Samuel A. Banks for many years and knew when she learned of the new library that it was here she wanted to have Sam's service to Eckerd College and the entire field of education memorialized through time. Sam served as a professor of human development at Eckerd, as well as on the development staff, as director of foundation relations for over ten years. Sam had a distinguished career as president of both Dickinson College and the University of Richmond. Dr. Joanne Banks, a pre-eminent literary scholar, is the American editor of Virginia Woolf's Letters and is an acknowledged leader in the field of medical humanities. She serves the College as an adjunct professor in literature and general education and is a member of the Friends of the Library Board. Thank you, Jo, for your devotion to the students and to the academic program of Eckerd College.
The ASPEC Reading Room
Thirty-nine ASPEC members contributed to the naming of the ASPEC Reading Room and had a private dedication ceremony and luncheon earlier in the week. We appreciate their generosity.
The Billy O. Wireman Conference Room
Through generous lead gifts from long-time members of the Friends of the Library Board Carol Upham and Martha Rudy Wallace and several other contributors who have requested to remain anonymous, I am pleased that the Dr. Billy O. Wireman Conference Room has been established, recognizing the service of the College's 2nd President. Billy Wireman was a man of great faith and vision. He joined the College as a founding faculty member and, as the needs of the College evolved, he graciously and willingly accepted new assignments. He served as the first coach of the men's intercollegiate basketball team and then as vice president for development. He served as president from 1968 to 1978, captaining the college through a tumultuous period. He recently completed a successful 24-year tenure as president of Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. Billy regrets that he cannot be here today, and he asked me to extend best wishes to the College on his behalf.
Marty has served as a Trustee since 1976 and was Chairman of the Board from 1988 to 1989. She and her late husband, John, have been very supportive of the College, as evidenced by the Wallace Boathouse, which was dedicated on February 26, 1999. Marty's involvement with the Friends of the Library led her to establish a library endowment with gifts given before my arrival; in addition, she and John created an endowment fund which will permanently support the purchase of library materials, above and beyond the normal operating budget.
I would also like to thank Carol Upham, whose husband was a founding Trustee of the College and whose name graces the building in which I work. Carol, thank you for your commitment to our library, both financially and in your long service on the Friends of the Library Board.
Finally, I would like to recognize one more couple before we go cut ribbons: Colonel Christian L. March Jr., and his wife of over 50 years, Edna March, are well known for the March International Relations Lecture Series, coordinated by Professors Donna Oglesby and Bill Felice. Before they endowed that program, however, the Marches established planned gifts to create the March Library Endowment Fund to help sustain the operations of this library in perpetuity. Thank you, Larry and Eddie, for your generosity.
We appreciate the support and commitment of all gathered here today. Thank you for your gifts to this great addition to the campus.