Cumberlands receives $5M grant to renovate library

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — University of the Cumberlands has received a $5 million grant from the Grover Hermann Foundation to renovate its library into a 21st century learning center for students, faculty, staff and community members.

“This is an important milestone for our campus community,” said Dr. Larry L. Cockrum, president of University of the Cumberlands. “Revolutionizing our current, out-of-date library into a 21st century leaning center will significantly influence our ability to educate future leaders. The learning center will meet the technological needs of today’s students while providing shared learning spaces that inspire the knowledge and skills the 21st century demands of us all.”

Cumberlands’ current library was constructed in the 1960s, and since that time, few renovations have been made. The proposed architectural design, created by the Brandstetter Carroll Architectural Firm, includes a first floor filled with technology booths, a coffee bar and café, computer areas, rooms for quiet study and a portion of the library’s media collection. The concept plan for the second floor includes the bulk of the library’s collection, in addition to a couple classrooms and plenty of seating and study areas. An elevator will also be added, increasing access to all floors.

As part of the renovation process, the library will be named the Grover M. Hermann Learning Center.

“The Grover Hermann Foundation is extremely pleased to have made a grant to University of the Cumberlands to help establish the Grover M. Hermann Learning Center,” said Paul K. Rhoads, president of the foundation. “We firmly believe that this imaginative transformation of an important building on campus will serve to greatly strengthen an already outstanding university.”

Grover M. Hermann was a very successful businessman who lived from 1890 to 1979. At the age of 23 he established a small company which grew into a large, diversified corporation. In addition to his entrepreneurial successes, Hermann also was a great philanthropist, a man who contributed generously both time and fortune to many important charitable causes, both individually and through his foundation.

“We are confident that Mr. Hermann would be very pleased with this grant, which will be the last of a long list of grants to the University extending back more than three decades,” said Rhoads.

Cockrum added, “We are incredibly grateful to the Grover Hermann Foundation for their generous support over many years. Their contributions have significantly impacted the lives of the students we educate and the quality of education we are able to offer this region.”

Total cost of the library renovation is estimated at $7.8 million. With the $5 million provided by the Hermann Foundation, the University plans to move forward in finalizing plans and contractors for the project. Work on the 21stCentury Learning Center is expected to begin within a year.

“We are so very blessed to have this $5 million grant from the Grover Hermann Foundation,” said William L. Stohlman, director of development at Cumberlands. “It will serve as a powerful example for others to follow as we seek support to complete the campaign.”

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