By Bailee Ford
Remodeled bathrooms, phone chargers to check out and more study rooms are a few of the improvements to the library over the summer thanks to the Waggoner family’s latest gift to the university.
Andrea Fowler, Trevecca’s new director of library services, explains that there are long-term plans to provide more technology for student and faculty use, introduce new types of study spaces, and utilize new approaches to providing librarian support to both on campus and online students equally. She hopes that every student continues to use these resources and reach out for help from the library as it continues to be updated.
The changes this year include the remodeling of bathrooms on all three floors, general paint touchups, and new library resources. Students can now check out phone chargers, reserve more study rooms than before, and schedule research appointments with librarians.
Last year, the Waggoner family established the Waggoner Family Foundation, valued at $20 million. The proceeds of this foundation, which are estimated to be about a $1 million a year, go to scholarships and the care and upkeep of the library.
“The Waggoners gave a portion of their most recent large gift to Trevecca for the maintenance and upkeep of the library. The library staff is very appreciative of this generosity and is excited about what the gift can do to update and improve the library building in the coming years,” she said.
Don and Zelma Waggoner are two hardworking individuals that have a very loving history with Trevecca, said Dan Boone, university president.
“They are very humble Nazarene business people who started a uniform cleaning business in the basement of their house,” Boone says. “He would pick up dirty uniforms from different places and they would work through the night to wash, dry, iron and get the uniforms ready to be delivered the next morning.”
After building up their business for many years and eventually selling it to invest in real estate, Trevecca remains the Waggoner family’s primary beneficiary.
“They were the primary donors for the library, the sole donors for the Reed Bell Tower, and major contributors for the Zelma Waggoner Performance Hall in the Jackson Music Building,” Boone says.
A portion of the donation is dedicated specifically for bathroom renovations at the library that cannot be spent on other buildings, Boone explains.
“A part of it is used for freshmen scholarships and part of it goes into a scholarship endowment so we’re able to award scholarships to returning students out of that,” Boone explains. “Most of their gifts in the last few years have been for student scholarships, not buildings.”
After the budget is figured out for an on-campus construction project, it then goes to the Public Spaces Committee, who plans out the design in a way that would fit the existing building and Trevecca as a whole.