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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]

Leadership and Service

Standing at the threshold: President Anderson's thoughts on Xavier Hall


President Anderson gives his speech at the Xavier rededication

By Loren J. Anderson, PLU President

Excerpts from President Anderson's address at the rededication of Xavier Hall, October 14, 2001

Today we stand together at a threshold. We can look forward and back. At once we are at a time of beginning when we can see ahead to the many possibilities for teaching and learning in this marvelous building, now as good as new. And we can look back with true admiration to the visionaries who, over 60 years ago, built a structure that would endure. It was a real struggle in the early 1930s to find the funds needed to build a much needed library on campus. More than abundant wealth, our predecessors had abundant faith that this building would be built. So much faith, in fact, that they built the new library in stages. It was almost as if a little more money came in and another wall went up. It wasn't until the late 1940s that the project was completed.

There was no shortage of celebration during construction. There were groundbreakings, cornerstone layings and dedications. Many of these celebrations were very much like our celebration here today. Construction workers beamed with pride, the president and other dignitaries spoke, friends who helped fund the project were thanked, the Choir of the West sang. Thanks went to God for watching over our fledgling campus.
Yes, it took some time but-as all good Norwegians would-they built the new building well, they built it to last, and it served our college and university well in several incarnations. First known simply as Pacific Lutheran College Library, the building initially housed our small collection of books and a few classrooms. As other campus buildings were built, classrooms eventually gave way to the expanding library, growing under the direction of J.U. Xavier, campus librarian.

With the dedication of the Robert A. L. Mortvedt Library in the late 1960s, the old library was renamed in honor of J.U. Xavier and was remodeled to house classrooms and faculty offices of the Division of Social Sciences. Another celebration. More speeches. More thanks. More singing. And another tribute to those who had the vision to first build.
Since then, until last year, Xavier Hall has served us well. A building at the heart of the campus housing many of the departments that are at the heart of our curriculum. But time did not stand still. And with new resolve our friends and supporters have made possible the restoration of Xavier Hall for future generations as part of the current Campaign for Pacific Lutheran University: The Next Bold Step.

So now, standing at a threshold, we can look to the future and see that this latest version of Xavier Hall will help us take that next bold step. Continuing to serve faculty and students in the Social Sciences, Xavier Hall is now a gracious and contemporary teaching-learning space that will optimize collaborative learning while embracing new technologies."



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