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President Urges Campus Community’s Help in ‘Keeping Dream Alive’

(The following is drawn from remarks by Davie Jane Gilmour, Pennsylvania College of Technology president, during a Sept. 12 campus celebration kicking off the 365-day countdown to dedication of the Roger and Peggy Madigan Library.)

President Davie Jane Gilmour starts the yearlong countdown to dedication of the Roger and Peggy Madigan Library.Welcome to Penn College home of the new Roger and Peggy Madigan Library!

It’s time for us to mark another milestone along the journey that will take us to this wonderful, new library.

Last winter, we celebrated a unique groundbreaking for the Madigan Library. We were honored to share an evening with the Madigan family, state officials and Penn College supporters and friends. We celebrated with fireworks and a light show marking the ground that soon would form the foundation of the Madigan Library.

That ground now is covered with steel. A tremendous structure is taking form. We marvel daily as we come through the main campus entrance and see the progress that is being made in the library’s construction.

We are watching a dream come true. Many of us who have spent years and years wishing for a new library on the campus simply can’t believe that we are realizing our dream! But we are!

One year from today in just 365 days we will dedicate the new Madigan Library.

We wanted to take some time to stop and smell the progress. We are on our way to a new library today! And we are so excited about it that we decided to throw a festival to decorate the lawn and bring in some music, food, and entertainment to celebrate.

We also wanted to use this celebration as an opportunity to share our gifts with the community. So we made the price of admission just one new children’s book. These books that you have donated will be given to local agencies that work with young children. Your gift will be appreciated by many here in the Williamsport area.

This library is a gift…and it is a legacy. It honors the contribution of a couple who dedicated years to public service in Pennsylvania Roger and Peggy Madigan. As our state senator and a member of our Board of Directors Sen. Roger Madigan is a real friend to this college.

He and his late wife, Peggy, long ago dedicated their lives to making life better for the people of our region. They earned tremendous respect from important political and community leaders around the state.

This library is evidence of the Madigan’s legacy in Pennsylvania as the Commonwealth contributed $7 million toward the cost of construction. This contribution from the state was earned through the efforts of our state representative, Brett Feese, who also is a member of our Board of Directors.

To both Sen. Madigan and Rep. Feese, we say “Thank you.” You have made our dreams come true.

All of us can look upon this gift…this legacy…this new library and consider what role we might play in keeping the dream alive.

So far, we have received $1 million in individual and corporate donations to support the Roger and Peggy Madigan Library. Many of you have already contributed generously to the campaign for the Roger and Peggy Madigan Library. Faculty and staff have contributed more than $146,000 to the effort.

For those who wish to give individuals and groups there are a variety of naming options that make it possible for you to leave your own mark on areas within the library.

For those student organizations out there who would like to be long remembered by future students on this campus, you might consider one of these options and leave your name on a piece of the Madigan Library.

Thank you all students, faculty, staff, supporters and friends for being here today and for contributing your books to help our community.

Join in the celebration as we begin the countdown to completion: 365 more days to go! Now, I’d like to ask Dr. Dunham, Rep. Feese, Martha Hunter and John Wardlow to join me.

John, you set a remarkable example of what good can come from public support for literacy projects. You had a dream of higher education. Your goal was to be here where you are today on this campus.

You used the public library The Learning Center at James V. Brown to help you accomplish your goal.

You prove to us how important it is that our two libraries the one on this campus and the one in downtown Williamsport work together for the good of our community. We will do so and you will be an inspiration to us as we work together now and in the future.

I’d like to take the opportunity here today to announce that Penn College is partnering with the Friends of the Library and hosting this year’s James V. Brown Book Fair. This year’s Fabulous Book Sale will be held Saturday, Nov. 5, in our College Avenue Labs.

We also are launching a campuswide book drive to collect books for the sale. So students, faculty and staff remember those bins that you used to donate a children’s book to gain admissions to today’s event? Well now, I’d like to ask you to fill those bins with donations for the November book fair. Clean off your bookshelves at home and donate your used books to support the James V. Brown Library.

Thank you! Thank you all for being here today. Thank you, members of the Roger and Peggy Madigan Library Campaign steering committee, for getting us to the $1 million mark and for continuing your efforts to make this dream a reality.

The poet, Maya Angelou, said:

Lift up your eyes upon This day breaking for you Give birth again To the dream

I invite you to look up in the direction of these screens featuring the artwork of some of our most familiar children’s books and join in the celebration of our dream coming true.

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