Monday, June 23, 2014

Naming of Jackson Library

Jackson Library in the 1960s
When the State Normal and Industrial School (now the The University of North Carolina at Greensboro) opened in 1892, the library was confined to one small room, located on the upper floor of the Main Building (now the Foust Building).  The library collection was relatively small, consisting of only several hundred books.  By 1900, the collection had grown to over 3000 volumes and necessitated a move to a larger room in the Main Building.

In 1901, the President of the School, Charles Duncan McIver, asked philanthropist Andrew Carnegie for funds to build a new structure dedicated solely as a library.  The result was the construction of the Carnegie Library (now the Forney Building) in 1905 which become home to the library and its 5000 volumes.

As the student population grew, so did the size and importance of the Carnegie Library. By 1950 there were over 134,000 volumes within the collection.  Recognizing this growth, plans were discussed in the early 1940s for the construction of a larger library.  However, due to World War II and the restricted university budgets, there was never an opportunity to move forward with construction plans for a new library location.

Walter Clinton Jackson
In the late 1940s, however, it became evident that the current library would soon run out of space and could not adequately support the ever growing student population.  Consequently, funds were set aside by the administration for the construction of a new, larger library directly across from the current Carnegie Library. Construction began in September 1948 and finished in March 1950, at a total cost of $1.2 million dollars (or today $11.5 million dollars, adjusted for inflation). It officially opened to students in the fall of 1950 and was known as the Library Building.

That same year saw the retirement of school Chancellor, Walter Clinton Jackson.  Jackson was born in Hayston, Georgia on June 18, 1879.  In 1909, he joined the State Normal and Industrial College as a professor and later became head of the Department of History. In 1934 he was appointed the third Chief Executive of the College and would serve as chancellor for the next 16 years.

In an effort to recognize Jackson’s passionate dedication to the school and his long-term commitment to education and learning, it was recommended by the Board of Trustees of Woman’s College that the library be renamed on honor of him. In February 1960, the motion was unanimously passed for the Library Building to be renamed the Walter Clinton Jackson Library. 

No comments:

Post a Comment