Memorial Library

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By 1948, PMC realized it needed to gain accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the organization which evaluates degree-granting colleges and universities in the Middle States and certifies the quality of education in those institutions. To accomplish this, a new and adequate library was needed. In February 1948 the Trustees announced that the PMC Memorial Library was to be constructed.

Ralph P. Minich, a noted Philadelphia architect, designed the building, a Georgian Colonial brick structure with two wings and a center court. It was to be located at a point near the west gate and followed the curve of the campus drive almost to the Annex Building. The central court of the new library was to be a memorial to Lt. William J. Wolfram of the Class of 1943. Colonel Frank K. Hyatt stated that the library “symbolizes the spirit of the new PMC” and represents the first step in providing students the “modern facilities” they required. The cornerstone of Memorial Library was laid in November 1948. Placed in the cornerstone were a letter of tribute to Colonel Theodore Hyatt, a letter from Mr Frank Wolfgram describing the spirit of PMC, a scroll with the names of the Library Fund subscribers, a list of the Library and Building Committees, a list of graduates and a Bible.

Originally to cost $80,000 it soon became clear that this estimate was low. Unfortunately the additional funds required were not available and in early 1949 construction was suspended. A campaign conducted by Colonel Hyatt was begun to raise the additional $50,000 needed to complete the structure. This was not completed until 1951. The Library Committee then began a drive to raise money to furnish the building. By the summer of 1952, the final step in completing the Library was ready to be taken.

In August 1952 a group of sixty summer session students along with members of the library staff, Dean of Faculty James Graham and Professor of Biology Dr. Joseph Storlazzi began to move 20,000 books and periodicals. At the end of a very long and hot day, most of the books had been moved and placed on the shelves in their proper order. This achievement was accomplished by using special book-carrying cases, which had been loaned to PMC by Bucknell University, that had been built especially for this purpose.