Dedication Ceremony Sept. 25 of New Addition to Colorado State University’s Morgan Library is “A Promise Fulfilled”

Members of the campus and Fort Collins communities are invited to attend a dedication ceremony for the major addition to the Morgan Library at 11 a.m. Sept. 25 on the library’s north plaza near the entrance. The dedication represents the culmination of "A Promise Fulfilled," the campaign to renovate and build an addition to Morgan Library.

In 1994, Colorado State President Albert Yates designated the Morgan Library project as a top university priority. The $22.6 million project, significant in its partnership between public and private organizations, was supported by $14.4 million from the Colorado General Assembly.

"A Promise Fulfilled" was the name of the $7.2 million campaign for private gifts, which included $5.2 million for construction and renovation and $2 million to create the Morgan Library Endowment. President Emeritus William E. Morgan, the library’s namesake, contributed the lead gift to the endowment.

The Harold H. Short Family provided the first leadership gift, which was followed by the largest gift to the campaign, $2.5 million from the Griffin Foundation, Inc. Other major donors included Ken and Myra Monfort, the Boettcher Foundation and the Adolph Coors Foundation.

"This dedication is a milestone for Morgan Library and the campus because it signifies the last segment of this long construction and renovation project," said Camila Alire, dean of University Libraries. "It is a way to say ‘thank you’ and to acknowledge our donors and the state of Colorado."

A total of 130,000 gross square feet was added to the library, with the largest section nearly doubling the width of the library’s west wing, called the Pat Griffin Wing. The wing is three stories high and contains dozens of windows with expansive views of the Front Range and Longs Peak.

The entry pavilion on the north side and interior of the addition is suffused in natural light and features 9-inch square sandstone blocks carved with personal messages and the names of thousands of contributors to the library campaign. In all, about 5,500 blocks grace the walls of the library.

The library offers expanded collections of primary, literary, historical and scientific sources. Seating capacity was doubled, along with the addition of library instruction labs, seminar rooms, computer terminals and a group study area. The addition of the Journal Reading Room and the Electronic Information Center further enhance research services.

The dedication ceremony was originally scheduled for September 1997, but the devastation of the 1997 flood delayed the celebration.

The ceremony on Sept. 25 will honor key donors and include remarks by representatives from groups that will benefit most from Morgan Library’s new changes: students, faculty, community members and the state of Colorado.

Morgan Library events

All following events are part of Morgan Library’s Arts in the Library Series and are free and open to the public.

In conjunction with the dedication ceremony, Morgan Library presents self-guided tours of "Jacob Lawrence: The Aesop’s Fables Drawings" through Oct. 3. The exhibit features a video on Lawrence, an introduction to his works and 23 original Aesop’s Fables drawings. The tour, which starts east of the library’s front entrance, is open to the public during library hours.

Lawrence, one of the most celebrated living African-American artists, was born in 1917 in Atlantic City, N.J., and became prominent in the early 1940s as the first painter to record and legitimize the black experience as a significant chapter in American history. In the 1950s and 1960s, his emphasis turned away from personal and historic paintings and focused more on the struggle for racial equality.

Two additional events will highlight the Jacob Lawrence exhibit:

  • The library will host a special guest lecture by Nathaniel "Sonny" Bustion at 6:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 24 in the ASCSU Senate Chambers of the Lory Student Center. Bustion, a Colorado State alumnus and renowned artist, will discuss Jacob Lawrence’s work and contributions to art. Bustion will host a tour of the Aesop’s Fables drawings following the lecture.
  • Chris Nelson from Colorado State’s art department will present two lectures about Lawrence and his works at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Oct. 1 in Room 203 Morgan Library.
  • Another self-guided tour featuring Benjamin Franklin’s books runs through Dec. 18. The tour is located west of the entryway gates near the Reference Desk at the library, and is free and open to the public during library hours.

For more information on the dedication ceremony or events at Morgan Library, call Pam Jones at (970) 491-6823. Additional information on library events is available on the Web at