At a celebration event last Thursday evening, Limestone College officials announced that $2,130,210 was recently raised in donations and pledges to meet and exceed a goal to help build a new library on its main campus in Gaffney.
Thursday’s occasion recognized the volunteers who assisted the College in hitting its library fundraising target. Trustee Lynda Ramage, the vice-chair of the Library Capital Campaign, was there to reveal the exact amount that was raised. The College announced 10 days earlier that it hit its $2 million goal that will enable it to break ground later this year on a new $6 million state-of-the-art library.
In April of 2014, Limestone Trustee William Brown issued a challenge to the school to raise $2 million by December 31 in order to receive an additional $1 million contribution for the library from the Betsy M. Campbell Foundation.
Limestone’s current “Today’s Needs…Tomorrow’s Dreams” capital campaign seeks to raise a total of $12 million, including $6 million for the new library, $4.8 million for athletics improvements, and $1.2 million for the “Limestone Fund.” Including the $1 million from the Betsy M. Campbell Foundation, to date $10,445,780.91 has been pledged to the capital campaign.
“This is a dream come true and a blessing for Limestone,” said Kelly Curtis, Limestone’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Director of the Capital Campaign. “It will impact all of the students. The effect this new library will have on our current student body and on recruitment is immeasurable.
“Today there is serious competition among higher education institutions to attract students,” she continued. “Students and parents have options and make choices based on what colleges offer and that includes facilities. For Limestone to continue to compete and to keep breaking enrollment records, a modern academic and social hub like this new library is a must.”
With a groundbreaking ceremony expected later this year, the library will be constructed in a now vacant area between Montgomery Hall and the Carroll Fine Arts Building. The new facility will replace the A.J. Eastwood Library, built in 1966, that currently has no study rooms and is so tightly crammed that thousands of books are stored in a facility in downtown Gaffney.
The new library will allow other campus programs to expand into the A.J. Eastwood building, relieving some space issues on other parts of campus. With a record 1,185 students now on campus, Limestone is experiencing unprecedented growth.
“This is a joyous occasion, especially for those who have been personally involved in conceptualizing and shaping the library project, and organizing and directing the capital campaign,” said Dr. Walt Griffin, Limestone College President. “I look forward to all of us standing there upon the successful completion of this project and cutting the ribbon together. On behalf of the College and its campaign leadership, I want to extend our thanks to everyone who made this possible.”
Dr. Griffin stressed that while the challenge was successful, library fundraising will continue in order to equip the new facility with the proper furnishings and latest technology. Curtis pointed out that several different naming rights opportunities are available for the library. For more information, Curtis can be contacted at (864) 488-4602.
Curtis noted that Limestone’s “Pave the Way” brick initiative, as part of the fund-raising effort to meet the library challenge, will continue for a limited time. Students, parents, faculty and staff, alumni, and friends of Limestone College can purchase personalized bricks that will pave the entranceway into the library. Playing to Limestone’s history and founding year, the individual bricks are $118.45 each, and available for a limited time only. For more information, visit www.limestone.edu/pavetheway.
In 2013, Limestone had a similar challenge for the Athletics portion of the capital campaign. If $1.5 million could be raised by the College, the Robert Campbell Foundation would kick in another $750,000. Limestone exceeded that goal, raising a total of $1,645,905.