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“I remember the dedication. Even though I had been at Drury for only a short time and done nothing to make the Olin Library a reality, I was caught up in the collective emotion of being part of a special community. It felt, that day, like I had boarded a starship on its maiden voyage. And now 25 years later, the journey has given to me all the riches and experiences that cleave to a life well lived…friends who became my brothers and sisters, ideas that stirred my soul and forever changed me, a reason to live each day with joy. That day the library was dedicated, I could only dimly see the horizon that was before me and it whispered me aboard..”

Dr. Mark D. Wood, Chemistry Professor

“I was in the middle of the struggle to win the grant from the F.W. Olin Foundation since I recorded gifts that we received and calculated the number of alumni that gave to Drury. That was one of the deciding factors of the grant, our number of alumni that gave back to Drury. We had been turned down twice by the Olin Foundation but Judy Thompson wanted to try one more time to win their support for the library. Twenty-five years ago all information and numbers were pulled by hand so it was quite the challenge. It was all worth the hard work and worry and stress because we finally succeeded! We had a beautiful night of celebrating with cocktails and tours in the library and a nice dinner where everyone dressed in their formal wear. It is one of my best memories of Drury, seeing all of our hard work turn into a beautiful building that students could enjoy for generations.”

Doris Weber, Executive Officer Assistant

“I don’t know that I have a memory worth sharing, but I do remember going to the new library to check out a book. I think it must have been the very first day it was open. I checked out a book, walked out the door, and the alarm started beeping! They had forgotten to desensitize it! The person working at the circulation desk said I was the first person to check out a book and already they had forgotten to use the new procedure! 🙂

(P.S. I also remember stripping in Walker!)”

Dr. Valerie Eastman, Psychology Professor

“I was one of the “strippers” in Walker. We had a lot of fun doing it and had so much pride in landing the Olin grant for the new library.”

Dr. Penny Clayton, Breech School of Business

“I remember watching as Olin was being built, loving the exterior look of the building, and dreaming of how awesome it would be on the inside once it was completed. Harwood Hall, which once was a library, then housed the education department and the school of architecture, had to be torn down to make way for Olin, along with the only Osage Orange tree on campus. Though there were a few hiccups during construction, the FW Olin Library was completed on time and I remember all the work so many people put into the move from Walker Library to Olin. I also remember the first custodian to work in Olin, and her name is Linda Doss. Others of us have had the great privilege to work in Olin since those early days, and I remember the Library staff always being dedicated to their jobs and to the students. Olin Library became the new showpiece on campus in 1992.”

Phyllis Decker, Drury University Custodian

“Centers of learning such as colleges and universities and libraries go hand in hand. All spring from a philosophy that learning is a liberating phenomenon, an exercise, an endeavor, that frees people from ignorance, dogma, and oppression. Thus, the Olin Library at Drury University was and is a landmark event for the university, in that it represented a promise to the students, staff, faculty, and administrator’s that Drury’s commitment to learning was and remains a lifelong practice that goes beyond the library’s physical and virtual holdings as well as the campus itself. It is significant that the Olin Foundation recognized Drury’s mission and promise, then provided the means to enhance that mission and promise with a new library. Libraries, colleges, and universities are as vital to our society’s political and social health now as always. People become more capable, through individual and communal learning, as they acquire and use the intellectual tools necessary to contribute to the maintenance and health of a civil society. This work isn’t a “once and then it’s done” thing. It has been going on for as long as human beings have sought meaning through art, music, spirituality, political thought. The F. W. Olin Library and Drury University are a continuation of that process.”

Craig Smith, Emeritus Librarian, Walker Library 1981-1992, Olin Library 1992-2014

“I remember the great joy which was experienced at Drury when the F. W. Olin Foundation gave the $6.1 million grant for our new library. It was such a journey. Judy Armstrong worked tirelessly with Judy Martin Thompson in Alumni and Development. F. W. Olin transformed our college by asking us to improve our average ACT, increase the percentage of faculty with terminal degrees, and heighten the percentage of alumni who gave to the school. As a result, the inauguration of the new library represented a fundamental transformation of life at Drury. I also remember putting those metal strips into the books before they were carted over to the new building. We laughed until we cried when we received the slightly risqué pictures with an Edenic scene and the line – “We stripped and it moved.” Those were delightful days. Excitement was in the air. New possibilities were emerging. We were coming into our own as a “new American college” with exciting plans for the future. Apparently, many across the country took note. Most of all, I remember wonderful friends, a spirit of community on campus, and a great sense of hope for the future. Thanks for allowing me to relive these amazing days 25 years ago. As we look back in 2017, it gives me great satisfaction to know that we are engaging in our new period of transformation right now with plans for a new campus design and great strides in fundraising for the sesquicentennial in 2023. The “Drury Story” continues!”

Dr. Peter Browning, Chaplain and Religion Professor

“I cannot believe it has been 25 years ago. That was such a big deal to get the grant from the Olin Foundation and have this modern day library on this little college. I knew there were not many here now from when I started in 1988. Time has certainly passed by fast.”

Sherry Y. Beasley, Drury University Perkins Loan Coordinator

“I worked at Olin for 3.5 years. The staff Christmas party was always my favorite! But I also loved the finals week coffee car! My study groups appreciated that.”

Kelsey Emerson 2014

“Walker was my first introduction to Drury’s library. As a child, I was easily entertained by the fishpond under the staircase. I would feed them cracker crumbs, if the librarian wasn’t looking. As a student, it was all study, no food, no talking, and no loud noises. In my professional role at Drury, I had the pleasure of seeing Olin library built. Incorporating bits and pieces of the old, old library, Harwood, and creating the time capsule are two highlights for me.”

Julie Graves Guillebeau AB 1969; MBA, 1992

“I remember spending many hours in the various study rooms with classmates as we worked on class projects. I also may have taken a few naps on the comfy couches while I waited for a late class or if I needed a break from studying.”

Chris Skalicky 2009, MBA 2011

“I remember staying up late studying in the small rooms upstairs in Olin with my classmates. Half the time we were all so tired and didn’t get any studying done. We did have a lot of laughs and watched funny YouTube videos.”

Anna Schneider 2014

“I moved into Olin Library in 1992 from the art department and brought our collection of sixty thousand 35mm slides of art and architecture along. Planning the new space for the slide collection was rewarding, and moving the collection and getting it organized just in time for classes to start was a task I couldn’t have done without the help of a brilliant student assistant. Wade Hamilton came back to school early to help me and I’m grateful to this day! We were all so proud of the new library then and it continues to serve us well 25 years later.”

Jacqueline Tygart, Associate Librarian & Art Collection Curator

“My first sight of what was to become Olin Library was in August 1991 when I came to the Drury campus to interview for a Librarian position. I laughed when Judith Armstrong, Library Director, told me that we would be moving into the library in one year because all I saw was a big hole in the ground. The grant paid for the construction, interior furnishings, and appliances in the Break Room, pencil sharpeners, wastebaskets, and even the landscaping for 15-20 feet round the exterior. The indirect style of lighting on the first floor was based on the lighting used in the new Anschutz Library at Kansas University. The barrel vaulted ceiling and pillars on the second floor echoed the coffered ceiling and pillars in Harwood Hall, an earlier library building at Drury. Judith requested three sensor panels for the security system for ease of flow in and out of the building, instead of the standard two. We finally closed Walker Library for student use at the end of June 1992 because we needed to do the stripping and packing of books into boxes uninterrupted. Facilities built a wooden chute to hold two sets of rollers and took out a window from the east side of Walker so we could move the boxes of books out of the building, down the chute to a rented truck, and drive them up the lane to the loading dock of Olin. There the boxes were unloaded and taken upstairs by elevator. A number of young men, one was Jay Garrott’s son, were hired to move the boxes of books from the chute into the back of the truck and then unload them on the loading dock of Olin. They also returned the empty boxes to Walker to fill again with books. Judith Armstrong placed the first book on the new shelves in Olin. Moving the serials collection was challenging because a sizeable part were stored in a back room in the basement of FSC. We had to mark the boxes with the title and volumes so that they could be blended in with the journals in Walker when we moved into Olin. A number of back issues of journals were boxed, taken through the Harwood doors and then slid down a long board laid on the steps into the lower level, where they were loaded onto book carts, unpacked, and shelved in the vault. Craig Smith selected the office in the southwest corner because he wanted lots of light in his office. He asked that I be in the office next to him. The library opened for student use on Tuesday September 8, 1992. The opening of Olin Library was celebrated during the annual conference of the Missouri Library Association so library personnel from across the state could see the new building.”

Memories of moving into Olin Library as told by Katherine Bohnenkamper, Drury Librarian
  2017  /  25 Year Timeline  /  Last Updated October 27, 2017 by admin  /