by Andrea Gardner
In a dedication and grand opening ceremony attended by more than 400 people, the Wilson Library and Landis Academic Center was admired and celebrated on Saturday, Feb. 3.
The opening and dedication were organized by University Relations and overseen by Development Director Mark Bagley. Over 6,000 invitations were sent to the building donors, alumni, and friends in the Pomona Valley.
Dr. Stephen Morgan, University of La Verne president, led the outdoor ceremony. He recognized Elvin and Betty Wilson, Richard and Beth Landis, Benjamin, Barbara, Willard and Harriet Harris and Ida Howell for their contributions to the development of the library and academic center.
After speeches given by the main contributors, Dean of Organizational Management Dr. Tom Harvey, Board of Trustees Chairman Jim Long and Morgan, a ribbon was cut by the Wilsons, Landises, Harrises and Howell. All were then invited inside the building for a reception of refreshments and self-guided tours.
The 51,000 square foot building is the largest project in the history of the University costing $6.5 million. The Wilson Library accounts for 36,332 square feet and holds 185,000 volumes.
The Landis Academic Center will house the School of Business and Economics, a computer lab, faculty offices and classrooms. The Frank D. and Ida S. Howell Board Room and the Harris Art Gallery, which is exhibiting the art of ULV Professor of Art Joella Jean Mahoney, are also in the facility.
The history of the library dates back to 1891, when Lordsburg College was founded in the Lordsburg Hotel. As the number of volumes increased, and the University grew, the library moved to different locations on campus, with the first being to Room 108 of Founders Hall in 1927.
In 1951, the library was moved to the W.I.T. Hoover Memorial Library, which is now the College of Law. In the late 1970s, the Alpha Beta supermarket was leased to the University and was renovated to later become the Elvin and Betty Wilson Library, whose donation made it possible for the University to purchase the property.
With 150,000 volumes occupying the library, plans were made in 1988 to expand the library again, and in 1993, the entire collection was moved to the Kilo Building and a warehouse in order to make room for the reconstruction of the Wilson Library and Landis Academic Center.
After four years of planning and over 19 months of construction, the technologically advanced “capstone of the 10-year campus plan” opened in January, housing modems in classrooms, offices, conference rooms, study carrels and state-of-the-art lighting.