BY CALEB COCHRAN
Nearly 50 years after opening its doors in Beatty Hall for the first time, Wentworth’s library is headed for an extreme makeover.
Fueled by a $5 million gift from alumnus and Wentworth supporter Doug Schumann, AM ’64, Hon. ’08, the Douglas D. Schumann Library & Learning Commons—as the new facility will be called—will provide a dynamic, technology-driven space for students and faculty to collaborate and learn. It will be the first major renovation to the library since it opened in 1967.
A TRANSOFRMATIONAL GIFT
“The Douglas D. Schumann Library & Learning Commons will provide a spectrum of environments, from calm and quiet to active and noisy,” says Library Director Kevin Kidd. “Students will be able to work in a range of spaces, from individual nooks to open, flexible collaboration areas; from high-tech group study rooms to seminar rooms and event spaces.”
Wentworth President Zorica Pantic calls Schumann’s gift “transformational and heartfelt.”
“We are all extremely grateful to Doug,” Pantic says. “This gift will help transform the existing library into a library of the future and will provide spaces for learning and interdisciplinary collaboration not only to the students of today, but for the generations to come.”
“Having left this beautiful campus some 51 years ago as a graduate to begin a career for which Wentworth so well prepared me, I’m pleased to return in a position able to provide a helping hand in the reinvention of these shelves,” Schumann says.
To support the project, Wentworth has launched the Campaign for the Douglas D. Schumann Library & Learning Commons, which administrators are calling one of the most ambitious fundraising initiatives in school history. Gifts totaling $750,000 from donors including William Whelan, EEP ’63, have already been tallied. The campaign has a fundraising goal of $7.5 million.
Highlights of the renovation include a complete overhaul of the library’s technology infrastructure; common spaces for collaboration and interdisciplinary learning; and a groundbreaking lending program that will allow students to check out tools and technologies such as laser cutters, modeling software, scanners, and printers.
“When I realized the library was being renovated to a space that will enable interdisciplinary collaboration and provide students with access to state-of-the-art technology, I was thrilled to contribute,” says Lloyd Carney, EET ’84, chief executive officer of Brocade Communications. “In industry, we are focused on teamwork and collaboration across disciplines, so providing opportunities for students to obtain these skills is a big benefit to them—and to employers—when they enter industry.”
Schumann is the founder and owner of P-Q Controls, Inc., which manufactures heavy-duty joysticks and controls for the refuse, mining, forestry, marine, and construction industries. A longtime supporter of Wentworth, he is the benefactor for an Institute scholarship program, an endowed faculty position, and the Douglas D. Schumann Fitness Center, which opened in Beatty Hall in 2012.
The new library will be completed in August 2016 and will open in time for the fall semester.