As Northwestern College prepares to move into the $14 million DeWitt Learning Commons this summer, the college will recreate a special moment in its history. On Friday, Aug. 2, a ceremonial “book brigade” involving alumni from the early and mid-1960s and faculty, staff and students will move some books from Ramaker Library into the new facility, commemorating the activity that took place in 1964 when the library was moved from Zwemer Hall to Ramaker.
This year’s event will take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m., beginning at the red canopy near Zwemer Hall. Alumni from the classes of 1963 to 1966 have been invited. In addition to transferring books across the campus green through a line of people, the event will include reflections on the 1964 move and the impact of the new learning commons, refreshments, and a sneak peak of the new facility.
“We want to connect this transformative moment as the college prepares to begin using the DeWitt Learning Commons with what was a similarly transformative event when the actual move to Ramaker took place,” says Dr. Tim Schlak, director of the library. “We’re looking forward to a fun morning of conversation and commemoration.”
The Jack and Mary DeWitt Learning Commons will house the library as well as the academic support center, writing center, multimedia center and computer help desk. In addition, the facility will include a coffee shop, many areas for collaborative and group study, and a spacious community room. It will be accessible from a grand north campus entrance.
“Countless hours were invested in designing a building that will serve students’ evolving digital and collaborative needs for generations to come,” says Schlak. “We couldn’t be more excited about our new home.”
The actual move is being planned for the week of Aug. 5. VonRentzell Van and Storage of Lincoln, Neb., a company with more than 40 years of experience moving libraries, will coordinate the move.
The DeWitt Learning Commons will be officially dedicated on Friday, Sept. 27, at 4 p.m. as part of the Raider Days Homecoming and Family Weekend.