October 12, 2015, Carlinville, IL — More than a year has passed since the Lumpkin Library underwent an extensive renovation project and became known on the Blackburn College campus as the Lumpkin Learning Commons. Providing the Blackburn and Carlinville communities access to academic support services, laptops, classroom and meeting spaces, and over 55,000 physical volumes, the Commons renovations were made possible thanks to a $100,000 capital gift from the George I. Alden Trust.
The gift was used to fund Lumpkin Learning Common’s first renovation phase which included an extensive revamp of the lobby, offices and reading room, technology upgrades, and furniture. “The support of the George I. Alden Trust has been instrumental in this important academic transformation of Blackburn’s library,” noted Blackburn College President John Comerford. “Improvements that improve our academic program as well as enhance the visual aesthetics and comfort of our facilities is a win-win situation for the campus community. Our students will benefit for years to come.”
The George I. Alden Trust was established more than a century ago to provide assistance to charitable organizations, with special interest in the promotion of educational institutions with enrollment of no more than 5,000 students. Although primarily focused on schools in the north east, the Alden Trust has been a generous benefactor of Blackburn College since the mid-1980s. To date the Alden Trust has donated over $400,000 dollars to Blackburn College.
“Without the generous support of the Alden Trust, the renovations and subsequent conversion of the Lumpkin Library to the Lumpkin Learning Commons could not have been realized,” said Spencer Brayton, Head Librarian and Leaning Commons Director. “The gift has allowed us to better serve the academic and technological needs of our students, faculty, staff and community, and helped create a beautiful and exciting space in which people can learn and share knowledge.”
The Lumpkin Learning Commons is nearing the completion of the second phase of renovations, which include more facility upgrades. The project is expected to be completed Fall 2016.