Elon’s First Library: The Reading Room

Randall Bowman
August 1, 2014

Library Reading Room in the Administration Building, circa 1909

Library Reading Room in the Administration Building, circa 1909

Elon’s very first library was a far cry from the libraries of today.  It wasn’t even a separate building like Carlton, McEwen, or Belk Libraries.  According to George Troxler, in his book From a Grove of Oaks: The Story of Elon University, “…the library and reading room occupied two adjoining rooms on the second floor of the college building.”  It served the college for thirty-three years, from 1890 to 1923.  Along with most of the college’s book collection, both rooms in the Old Main Administration Building were incinerated in the 1923 fire that destroyed this building.  Continue reading

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Tornado touchdown at Elon–June 1989

Katie Nash June 27, 2014

Mooney building and storm damage, June 1989

Mooney building and storm damage, June 1989

As thunderstorms pass through Alamance County and the Elon area this summer, let’s take a look back at a fierce storm that damaged a large part of campus in June of 1989. Around 7:15pm on June 16, 1989 a tornado-like storm touched down on Elon’s campus, causing havoc and damage to the grounds and buildings. There was over $150,000 worth in damages, power outages, and numerous trees were uprooted. The summer of 1989 had already included a lot of rain fall, and in June the Elon area experienced numerous tornado warnings and watches.  The tornado-like storm that struck campus came without much warning and lasted for about 15 minutes, with about 50-70 mile per hour wind gusts.  Continue reading

West Dorm as Summer Resort in 1909

Katie Nash May 21, 2014

West Dorm, early 1910s

West Dorm, early 1910s

As the campus prepares for commencement exercises on May 24, 2014, we can’t forget about all the history and interesting stories that have involved West Residence Hall since it opened on campus in the fall of 1906. As the campus community and guests enjoy the shade and cool breezes under the oaks and facing West Residence Hall during commencement, here’s an interesting story about West during the summer of 1909. Here’s to the beginning of summer!  Continue reading

The Loy Center ‘Spirit Rock’

Julia Mueller May 9, 2014

Bill Loy and Loy Center rock, circa 1997

Bill Loy and Loy Center rock, circa 1997

In 1997, the Elon College Greek Courts were renamed from the Greek Lodges to the Loy Center in honor of William (Bill) E. Loy, Jr. and in memory of his wife, Elizabeth Apple Loy ’47.  Two rocks were added to the neighborhood.  The first rock belonged to Mrs. Loy’s family, and was placed in the Greek circle.  A plaque commemorating the Loy family is attached to the rock.  This rock is not to be painted.  The second rock became known as the ‘spirit rock.’ Continue reading

State of the art: The Carol Grotnes Belk Library

Randall Bowman
December 6, 2013

Belk Library, 2002

Belk Library, 2002

By the mid-1990s, it was very obvious that the Iris Holt McEwen Library was woefully inadequate to serve as Elon College’s library.  The college was growing and progressing as an institution; the student body was not only increasing in size, but in quality.  Planning began to build an innovative library that would be a key component of Elon’s increasing emphasis on engaged learning.  Fundraising for the new library was part of the Elon Vision, a five-year, $40 million strategic plan for strengthening academic programs.  An Elon Vision brochure established that this library would be something new.  “The new library will be located at the center of campus, serving as a dynamic intellectual hub between instructional facilities to the south and residential halls to the north.  This 75,000 square foot facility will combine the traditional library collection with the latest electronic information capabilities and an array of services that support students and faculty.” Continue reading

The Big Move: McEwen Library Opens

Randall Bowman
October 11, 2013

McEwen Library, June 1968.

McEwen Library, June 1968.

The 1960s brought many changes to Elon College, not the least of which was a new library.   With one reading room that could only seat one hundred students at a time, Carlton Library was now too small to serve the growing college of 1200 students. A new library, with space for a larger book collection, was needed.  Plans for the new facility were drawn up by the architectural firm of Guy Crampton and Associates of Raleigh, North Carolina.  Abrams Construction Company of Greensboro, North Carolina was the general contractor.  McEwen Library, as it would later be named, cost $700,000 to build, and was part of a large campus expansion that took place in the mid-1960s.  On Parent’s Day, Saturday, November 4, 1966, on the same day the Long Student Center and three other buildings were dedicated, the ground-breaking ceremony for the library took place.  By the summer of 1968, the new building was ready to be occupied. Continue reading

The Story of Carlton Library

September 13, 2013
Randall Bowman

Carlton Building after 1923.

Carlton Building after 1923.

Housed on the second floor of Elon College’s original Main Building was a one-room library and reading room, the first library on campus. The infamous fire on January 18, 1923, destroyed this room, along with most of the college’s library collection. But more than just books were lost that day; irreplaceable records of both Elon College and the Christian Church of the South, Elon’s parent denomination, were lost. A free-standing library was among the five new buildings planned to replace Main Building. The Carlton family of Richmond, Virginia, donated the funds to build the new library. On June 22, 1923, less than six months after the fire, ground was broken for the new library, which would be located next to Whitley Auditorium.

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