Cutler Commons Begins New Era for Library

Cutting the ribbon on Stockwell Library's new Cutler Commons: President Donna Randall; Board of Trustees Chairman Paul Tobias, '73; Sally Stark Cutler, '75; Sandy Cutler; Library Co-Director Mike Van Houten.Cutting the ribbon on Stockwell Library's new Cutler Commons: President Donna Randall; Board of Trustees Chairman Paul Tobias, '73; Sally Stark Cutler, '75; Sandy Cutler; Library Co-Director Mike Van Houten.

By Jake Weber

The crowd enjoys the Commons before the dedication ceremony.The crowd enjoys the Commons before the dedication. See the College's Facebook photo album of the event.



President Randall and the Cutlers visit with a student working in the Commons.President Randall and the Cutlers visit with a student working in the Commons.

Gifts from 19th- and 20th-century alumnae came together for the benefit of 21st-century students, as Albion dedicated the library's Cutler Commons. Sally Stark Cutler, '75, and her husband, Sandy, underwrote the main floor and entrance renovation of Stockwell Library, the gift of 1862 graduate Madelon Stockwell Turner.

The assembled crowd admired the Cutler Commons amenities, which include spaces specifically designed for group instruction or study, seating chosen by students, student artwork on the walls, and a coffee bar.

"Doesn't it always seem that incredible improvements come just as you're about to leave?" joked Student Alumni Association President Jordan Kus, '12, noting she will graduate at the end of the semester. Kus noted that the group study space, "cracked egg" chairs, and on-site caffeine are already a big hit with students. "Your gift has made a difference in the lives of so many current students and will continue to do so in the lives of students to come," she said, in thanking the Cutlers.

"Cutler Commons is now the opening to the Quad," remarked President Donna Randall, stressing the Cutlers' desire that their Commons be focused on students. "This portal really invites us to come in … I can't tell you how deeply thankful we are for this very special gift to our students and our community."

"If someone told me 36 years ago I'd be standing here, I'd have said, 'Get out of town,'" said Sally Cutler, in a brief and affectionate address to the crowd. "The pleasure of being able to [give this space to] everyone is remarkable," she said, offering two pieces of advice. "Please don't spill coffee on the keyboards. And remember us as people who give back. I hope that all of you here remember how to do that and how to change your world on a daily basis."