Live performances from student music groups, building tours, a scavenger hunt, and a ceremonial ribbon cutting were just a few of the activities during the official grand opening of the new library. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, city officials, and community members turned out in droves to celebrate the University’s newest building.
Envisioned as the academic and intellectual center of campus, the new 180,000 square-foot space is dedicated to learning and research with a 24/5 study space, computer lounge, classrooms, and a grand reading room. The Starbucks located adjacent to the library has already proven to be a popular spot for students to meet and study.
The grand opening events culminated in the passing of a copy of “Light Upon a Hill,” the last book remaining in the Lupton Library. Attendees lined up to form a human chain across the former Chamberlain Field to pass the book about UTC’s history.
At the end of the chain was Mary Jackson who started the nursing program and taught for many years at UTC. Her husband was Joseph Jackson, a longtime dean of the library. Jackson passed the book to Theresa Liedtka, the current dean of the library, who then walked it to the stage to Chancellor Steve Angle as the alma mater played.
Later, Chancellor Emeritus Roger Brown cut the ribbon to officially open the building. He was surrounded by Dr. Angle, Dr. Joe Pietro, University of Tennessee system president, UTC SGA President Robert Fisher, City of Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, Tennessee State Senator Bo Watson, and other local community leaders.
The new space honors both the past and present. Historic artifacts like a large University of Chattanooga sign near the main entrance are embedded in its walls and the building serves students’ needs with a focus on technology and group study spaces.
Spaces in the library also honor people. UTC faculty, staff, and alumni have named select rooms in the library after special people in their lives.
- Alumnus Tom Griscom and and wife Marion named a room for his aunt Isobel, a former UC professor.
- Jack and Dr. Valerie Rutledge, Dean of the UTC College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies, named a room for her father, David Copeland.
- The Andrew Roth Reading Room is named for the library’s designer who died a year ago.
- The Connor Society—a group of UTC faculty, alumni, and local community members—named the George Connor Reading Room.
- Professor Mary B. Jackson named the Dr. Joseph A. Jackson room after her husband.
Watch a montage of the event below.
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