Baylor Library To Celebrate 100th Anniversary April 24

April 16, 2003
News Photo 1308Former Texas Gov. Mark White will deliver the keynote address at the Library's 100th anniversary celebration.

Baylor University will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its library system at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at Burleson Quadrangle on campus. Former Texas Gov. Mark White, a Baylor alumnus, will deliver the keynote address, while library faculty members Michael Toon and Kathy Hillman, dressed in clothing of the early 1900s, will give a brief review of the history of the library system. The festivities are free and open to the public.

The centennial celebration also will recreate portions of the original ceremony dedicating Carroll Library in April 1903, a ceremony that spanned three days and featured sermons, speeches, music, prayers and a formal dinner.

The Baylor Men's Glee Club will perform some of the same music selections sung in 1903, and a member of the Carroll family will read Bible passages used for the dedication sermons. Others on the program will include Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr.; President Emeritus Herbert H. Reynolds, Dr. Donald D. Schmeltekopf, provost and vice president for academic affairs; Dr. David Lyle Jeffrey, senior vice provost; and Dr. Reagan Ramsower, dean of libraries and chief information officer.

White, who received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Baylor in 1962 and a law degree in 1965, began his career in public service in 1966 as an assistant attorney general. In 1973, at the age of 33, he was appointed Secretary of State. He became Attorney General in Texas in 1979, a position he held for four years. He was elected governor in 1983.

Baylor's original charter of 1845 mentions "setting up a library," but it took more than 50 years before the University constructed a library facility and hired two students, brother and sister James and Odo Surratt, to serve as librarians overseeing nearly 10,000 volumes.

One hundred years later, the Baylor Library system, which encompasses two central libraries, four special libraries, three resource centers and an electronic library division, houses more than 1.6 million bound volumes, more than 2.8 million microforms and government document pieces and thousands of electronic resources, audiovisual items, maps, charts and photographs.

"I read an uncited quote once that stated, 'No one ever graduated from a library; no one ever graduated without one,'" Ramsower said. "A strong library system provides access to the resources (ideas) students and faculty need to create new ideas, theories, scholarship, and ultimately, to become better educated people to serve mankind."

In addition to the anniversary celebration, Moody Library currently features an anniversary exhibit on display in the Allbritton Foyer. A web page with photos taken at Baylor during the last 100 years also can be found at

In the event of inclement weather, the celebration will be held in Miller Chapel. For more information, call 710-2112.

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