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Hartford Seminary

Library, Commemorative Courtyard Projects Completed

Hartford Seminary is pleased to announce the completion of two major projects to enhance library services to students and the public and to honor alumni and friends of the Seminary in a commemorative courtyard.

At a reception, Seminary President Heidi Hadsell thanked the H.A. Vance Foundation as the primary donor, the Ahearn Family Foundation and other donors for their support of a $75,000 library project. Pictured at left is President Hadsell with Jonathan B. Lee, Seminary Director of Institutional Advancement, and Alex Vance. At right are President Hadsell with Beth Miller and Mary Clare Mooney of the Ahearn Family Foundation.

The Vance Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to supplement funds raised by the Seminary. ?I would like to especially thank the H.A. Vance Foundation for its generosity and support. We appreciate their understanding of the importance of our mission and the library?s place in serving that mission,? Hadsell said.

The Library has added nine mobile shelving units, increasing the accessible collection by 30 percent; space for a total of 21,000 volumes now is available for the first time. The need for the shelving was acute because there are current library holdings which could not be entered into circulation because of space limitations, and new acquisitions were on hold for the same reason.

?The Seminary?s library is at the heart of the school?s mission to increase understanding among all people,? Hadsell said. ?Students, faculty, religious leaders, journalists, researchers and the general public all have access to, and make use of, the Library?s resources.?

?The goal of the shelving project was not just to optimize the use of limited space, but to maximize the accessibility of practical information available to all our constituencies,? Hadsell said.

Hartford Seminary has evolved to become a graduate school for leadership development in the area of interfaith dialogue and relations. The library reflects this evolution, containing a wide variety of materials of relevance to not only religious professionals, but those wanting to understand the basics of their own and other religions.

Since 2001 the library has seen a significant increase in use by non-Seminary visitors, and offers borrowing privileges to the public.

The library is directed by the Rev. Dr. Steven Blackburn, who also is Faculty Associate in Semitic Scriptures. Blackburn is active in programming for the general public. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, he assisted in planning and executing a series of book discussions in public libraries on Islam in the United States under the Connecticut Humanities Council?s program, ?Time for Ideas.?

Since that program?s conclusion, he has continued leading discussion groups across Connecticut.

?The library staff and I are very pleased that this expansion project is completed,? Blackburn said. ?We have so many volumes that we want to make available to our students and the public and now we can add these to the accessible collections in the library.?

Most of the newly accessible volumes will be in the area of Islamic studies, a portion in Arabic, Blackburn said.

Systematics of Westborough, MA, installed the mobile shelving.

Commemorative Courtyard

This summer, Hartford Seminary installed a new front courtyard. As part of this project, through the generosity of 16 donors, the Seminary installed special pavers in the central square.

These pavers commemorate Seminary alumni/ae, family, friends, teachers and mentors. (Click here to view several of the pavers)

One remembers a beloved pastor. Another recognizes the Women?s Leadership Institute. A third honors the donors? parents. Another quotes Rainer Rilke: ?God speaks / To each of us as / He makes us / Then walks with us / Silently out / Of the night.?

?This commemorative courtyard reminds me of the outstanding spirit of our alumni and friends, each time I enter the Seminary,? Hadsell said. ?Thank you to the 16 individuals and families who gave so generously to make the courtyard possible.?

Donors of the commemorative pavers are: the late Robbins W. Barstow of Wethersfield, James F. Brennan of East Hampton, Janet Bristow of Farmington, M. Dosia Carlson of Phoenix, AZ, Lynn and John Fulkerson of Litchfield, Richard Hughes of West Hartford, Dwight L. Kintner of Los Gatos, CA, Lenell Kittlitz of Rocky Hill, Robert C. and Fidelia Lane and family of Cromwell, Elizabeth Miel of Middletown, Jo B. Mitchell of Seattle, WA, Mary Oliver of Hampton, Margaret and Robert Patricelli of Simsbury, Evelyn and Evans Sealand of Simsbury, the late Gunnar Wikstrom Jr. of Chaska, MN, and Joyce Hatton Yarrow of Middletown, CT. Pictured at right are Bob and Fidie Lane.

Individuals who wish to purchase a commemorative paver should contact Jonathan B. Lee, Director of Institutional Advancement at Hartford Seminary, jlee@hartsem.edu.

Additional Photos at the reception:

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