$7M gift announced for UA Library renovations

$7M gift announced for UA Library renovations

Oct. 12, 2018

Left to right: President Emeritus John P. Schaefer, Vice President for Information Strategy & University Libraries Karen Williams, Libraries Dean Shan Sutton, President Robert C. Robbins

The University of Arizona Libraries has received a $7 million gift to support renovation of the Science-Engineering Library. This gift from the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation was recognized on October 5 during a ceremony to rename the Science-Engineering Library as the Albert B. Weaver Science-Engineering Library.

The renovation of the Albert B. Weaver Science-Engineering Library will include new student collaboration spaces on two floors that are adjacent to the library's 260-seat collaborative classroom, the largest at the UA. These spaces will provide students with tools that empower them to build on the peer-based, active learning that occurs in the array of UA courses taught in the collaborative classroom.  

"We are all incredibly grateful to the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation for its transformative generosity,” UA President Robert C. Robbins said. “The UA's future potential is built on the incredible tradition that leaders like Provost Weaver have left, and this gift to the Science-Engineering Library is a wonderful way to honor his memory by creating the space and environment that will help move us to the forefront of student success and innovative teaching."

"The Cottrell Foundation's generous gift is an important step toward creating a distinctive student experience at the University Libraries," said Shan Sutton, dean of University Libraries. "This investment enables us to realize our vision for the Albert B. Weaver Science-Engineering Library as a hub of collaborative and active learning spaces that will connect to other student success programs in the heart of campus."

Albert Weaver

Albert B. Weaver was recruited as the head of the UA physics department in 1958. John P. Schaefer, then the UA president, later appointed him to be the provost for academic affairs and executive vice president. Weaver passed away in 2012.

"Al Weaver was one of the architects who helped build the science establishment at the University of Arizona, which was an important contribution to the institution's history," said Schaefer, who serves on the board of the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation. "The spirit and entrepreneurship that Dr. Weaver brought to campus made it possible for the UA to take great leaps forward in the physical sciences in the '60s and '70s. The Cottrell Foundation supports the impact that our libraries have in the education process, and through this gift hopes to inspire faculty and students to use this library to take on challenges and solve real problems in science and technology."

"This gift honors the accomplishments of a past UA leader and makes our future more promising. It shows how powerful philanthropy is in shaping our campus and our identity," said John-Paul Roczniak, president and CEO of the UA Foundation.