Reimagining Stockwell Library
Phase II of Albion College's Stockwell Memorial Library renovation project officially began with the announcement in April 2012 of a $1-million grant from the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation of Midland. The foundation's gift anchors a $6.15-million fundraising campaign now under way for this landmark building on the Quad.
In November 2012, the Weatherwax Foundation joined in the project through its $250,000 gift.
Overall, the renovation will help ensure that Stockwell Library remains the "intellectual heart" of Albion College's campus -- but with a new high-tech touch.
"Our plan is to create in Stockwell Library a 21st-century learning center," said Albion College President Donna Randall. "This renovation will provide students and faculty with dynamic new spaces for teaching and learning throughout the building, and it will enhance access to a broad array of technology and academic services."
As part of a master plan adopted in 2010, Albion's Board of Trustees approved a multi-phase renovation of the library, which was constructed in 1938 with a gift from alumna Madelon Stockwell Turner. The first phase was completed in summer 2011 with the transformation of the library's first floor into Cutler Commons, a space featuring the latest technology, contemporary furnishings, and a café. The Commons, made possible by a major gift from Sandy and Sally Stark Cutler, '75, has already become a popular gathering spot for students and faculty.
Architectural planning for Phase II is complete, and renovation work will begin following the successful conclusion of the fundraising campaign. All of the library's four floors are slated to be redesigned to reflect new approaches to teaching, learning, and research. In addition, the electrical and mechanical infrastructure will be updated to support evolving technology needs. The books and other print materials in Stockwell will be moved to the adjacent Mudd building, and the existing stacks will be removed, making way for a four-story atrium filling Stockwell's interior with natural light.
Libraries of the future will provide faculty and students greater access to intellectual resources through the use of technology. One of the chief goals of the library project is to create more space for the training and support needed for students and faculty to gain the greatest benefit from information technology. In addition, many areas of the library will be reconfigured for group study, reflecting today's trends toward team projects and other collaborative work.
One of the most notable innovations coming in Phase II is a flexible space for experimental teaching and learning -- often called a 'sandbox' for new technology. A second area will be outfitted with advanced instructional technology supporting innovative approaches to teaching.
Reimagined as a comprehensive learning center, the library will also allow a dynamic collaboration among numerous academic services, including librarians, instructional technologists, media services, academic support and tutoring, and related programs such as the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity.
With the introduction of the Albion Advantage, which assists students in exploring and establishing their future career path, the College is expanding the identity and capacity of its Career Development Office. An important step in that process is to move the office into new and spacious quarters in the library and name the space the John S. Ludington Career and Internship Center, in memory of the 1951 Albion alumnus who was a longtime trustee and benefactor for the College.
"With rapid technological and economic changes taking place in the job market," observed President Randall, "we know we must adapt in order to provide students with the right tools and opportunities needed for their development as knowledgeable and skilled professionals. These enhancements in our career services will ensure that our students will continue to be competitive applicants for employment and graduate study and that they can chart a career path that is meaningful for them and for society."
To learn more about Phase II of the Stockwell Library campaign, please contact the Development Office at
, or call 517/629-0402.
Branna Wyant, '12
Hometown: Cassopolis, Michigan
Majors: Communication Studies (Emphasis- Mass Media), Psychology Minor
Campus Activities: Alpha Xi Delta, Student Alumni Association, Mentoring at Harrington Elementary School
Why did you choose Albion?
Coming from a small high school I knew I wanted a college where I felt comfortable. More specifically, I didn't want to be overwhelmed with not being able to find my classes and being just a number in a classroom. My grandma, Darlene Lowe, went to Albion and always had wonderful things to say about it. Although she was only there for a short time, she still can remember the Io Triumphe! by heart, while I still can't pronounce the words. She encouraged my sister, Baily Wyant, to attend and graduate from Albion College in '09. With the help from both my grandma and my sister, I found it easy to see how perfect Albion was for me.
What is your best Albion memory or experience?
Throughout the four years at Albion I have made so many unforgettable memories. From joining a sorority my first year to going to my first Red Wings game my senior year, Albion has had a huge impact on my life. However, my personal favorite memory is my football homecoming my freshman year. I was a freshman and my sister was a senior, it was a bittersweet feeling for the both of us. It was a start of a new chapter for me while my sister was ending hers. We had family and friends come from all over the state to tailgate before the game. We had a great time eating, meeting new people, and reminiscing on all the good Albion times that I would soon get to experience for myself.
What are your future plans?
Up until graduation, I am trying to make the most of my senior year with all my friends. Graduation will be a bittersweet feeling. I do not want to leave Albion, but at the same time I am excited to see what the future will bring. After graduation I will take some time off to travel and apply to jobs. I may also apply for graduate school.
How have financial aid and scholarships helped you?
Albion College is very generous with their scholarships. Without the Presidential Scholarship, a scholarship I have been fortunate enough to receive every year, I may have never come to Albion. Also, the Albion Alumni Award has helped out greatly over the years.
Describe your experience in being an intern in the Office of Alumni Engagement
My experience at the Alumni Engagement office has been better than I could have imagined. Right from the beginning the whole office was welcoming and made me feel at home. I have been able to do a variety of things in the office, and have really felt like I'm a part of the team, not just an intern. My favorite part of the job is being able to connect with alumni and hearing about life at Albion College before I got here.
How would you finish this sentence: "Because you give to Albion, I'm able to ...
... I am able to witness and appreciate all the positive changes that have been happening to Albion College. Specifically, the Albion College Fund is important because the money goes toward what is needed the most. Because of donors, alumni, and parents, this fund helps maintain the prestigious image of the College and allows us to compete with other colleges.
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