FHU to Break Ground for Library Resource Center

APRIL 28, 2014

The East rendering faces the commons area of campus.

The West rendering faces Cason Street.

Freed-Hardeman University will conduct a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Hope Barber Shull Academic Resource Center May 12 at 11 a. m. in the upper commons area in front of Loden-Daniel Library. Plans call for the demolition of Lawhorn Library and the beginning of site work May 19.

The 29,000 square foot addition to the FHU library is being built in memory of FHU’s much-loved librarian, Hope Barber Shull. Alumni John W. and Rosemary Kopel Brown, Kalamazoo, Mich., donated $7.5 million toward the cost of the $11 million project.

The library project includes the renovation of the existing Loden-Daniel Library, demolition of Lawhorn Library and the construction of a new three-story building connected to Loden-Daniel, which will be called the Hope Barber Shull Library. It will more than double the size of the existing library. The entire complex (grounds in front of the current library, Loden-Daniel Library and the new Hope Barber Shull Library) will be called the Hope Barber Shull Academic Resource Center, according to FHU President Joe Wiley.

The addition will feature a learning commons, a teaching and learning center, private study areas, an art gallery, training rooms, a multi-purpose room capable of seating 50 individuals and a café. Dr. C. J. Vires, vice president for academics and enrollment management, said, “This library will provide activities and services that occur at the intersection of the academic experience and student life. It becomes the university contemporary version of the student union."

Members of Shull’s family, including her husband, sons and parents; the Browns; and members of the Loden family for whom the current library facility is named, including Patsy Loden and Mark and Lisa Castleberry, are expected to attend the groundbreaking. In addition, representatives of Earl Swensson Associates Inc., the architectural firm, and Alliance Corporation, the construction management firm, will also be in attendance.

Shull joined the FHU staff in 1985 and became a librarian in 1993. She died in March 2013, following an extended battle with ovarian cancer. The program at the celebration of her life read, “She loved the library, her co-librarians and staff were extended family, and she counted it a blessing to work with FHU students.” That love for the library and students showed in her dedication to her job and in her eagerness to serve the needs of students. She had worked with architects in the initial phase of the design process for the new facility.

The Browns are long-time friends of Shull and her parents, Allen and Marie Barber. The families worship together at the East Main Church of Christ in Kalamazoo, Mich. They were also the naming donors for the Brown-Kopel Business Center completed in 2003.

The public is invited to attend the groundbreaking.