Baylor's New Campus 'Beacon' To Shine On March 13

March 7, 2001

by Alan Hunt

A "switching-on" ceremony planned for 7:30 p.m., March 13, will nightly illuminate the majestic stained glass windows of Baylor University's Armstrong Browning Library from the interior of the building.

"The effect," said library director Dr. Mairi Rennie, "will be like a great ornate lantern or beacon lighting up this end of the campus. I hope the library and its beautiful, 'jewel-like' windows will inspire and cheer those that pass by for many years ahead."

The stained glass windows will be illuminated by a new lighting system in the library's entrance foyer provided through the Baylor-Waco Foundation's $150,000 fundraising project for 2000 in aid of Armstrong Browning Library. The Baylor/Waco Foundation has served as the official hometown support group for Baylor University since 1959, providing leadership to accomplish fundraising for expansion, construction and renovation projects on campus.

Rennie said, "The idea of permanently illuminating some of the best stained glass came from the students themselves." She added, "The Baylor/Waco Foundation's wonderful support also has enabled us to refurbish drapes and cushions in the library's public rooms, and design a new website for the library (www.browninglibrary.org). An electronic docent system has also been developed which allows visitors to tour the library, and access relevant information from a hand-held computer. This is extremely innovative and we think one of the first uses of this sort of information technology in a museum-type environment."

The Baylor/Waco Foundation projects have been completed as a major part of the Armstrong Browning Library's Golden Jubilee celebrations for 2001. Dedicated on Dec. 2, 1951, the library houses the world's largest collection of letters, manuscripts, personal items and other materials relating to famous Victorian poets Robert Browning and his wife, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The library and its artifacts were a life-long project for its founder, Baylor English professor Dr. A.J. Armstrong, who died March 31, 1954, two days after his 81st birthday.

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