Park University will rededicate one of its most beloved structures in its 141-year history on Friday, Sept. 16, as the University celebrates the reopening of Norrington Center as a library and academic commons on the Parkville Campus. The event, which begins at 3 p.m. and is open to the public, is being held in conjunction with the University’s Homecoming Weekend.
Built in 1908 as a library building, Norrington Center as funded by Andrew Carnegie and the Carnegie Foundation. In fact, it is the only remaining Carnegie funded library remaining in existence on a Missouri college campus. Over the years, it was transformed into office and classroom spaces when the University’s McAfee Memorial Library moved to the University’s Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground in the 1980s.
Last year, plans were made to return the building to its original roots of promoting student success and providing learning services to Park students as a 21st century state-of-the-art library and academic commons. Earlier this year, renovations were completed, made possible in part through the generosity of Park students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University.
Besides the McAfee Memorial Library, the building now includes the University’s Academic Support Center for tutoring, mentoring and disability services, a multimedia classroom for distance learning, collaborative technology work stations, the Campanella Gallery for art exhibits and a café. In addition, reference librarians in the new facility are available via e-mail, phone and through an online chat room, and digital resources, including e-journals and e-books are accessible to all Park students regardless of their location worldwide.
The rededication will include remarks by Stephanie Tolson, Ed.D., a 1974 Park graduate who serves as dean of learning resources and academic support at St. Charles (Mo.) Community College. Tolson’s comments begin at 3:30 p.m. Following her remarks, Norrington Center will be open for visitors to tour.
While the event is open to the public, those planning to attend are asked to RSVP to Danita Hodges, alumni and constituent relations coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (816) 584-6209.