Learning room dedicated at UM

Eleanor L. and J.A. Brown Jr. cut the ribbon to dedicate the new collaborative learning room at the University of Montevallo's Carmichael Library May 4. The couple is surrounded by their family, President Dr. John W. Stewart III and Director Kathy Lowe, far left. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – The Carmichael Library at the University of Montevallo was teeming with faculty, staff and community members May 4 for the dedication of J.A. Brown Jr. and Eleanor L. Brown Collaborative Learning Room.

The dedication was part of the first phase of “turning Carmichael Library into a 21st century learning center,” said Dr. Mary Beth Armstrong, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

After Rev. Buddy Freeman offered a dedication prayer, UM President Dr. John W. Stewart III expressed his appreciation for the Brown family’s continued contributions to the university.

“Clearly your longtime support and service to our students shows true philanthropy,” Stewart said to the Browns.

J.A. Brown Jr., a life-long Montevallo resident, is the founder and president of the former Brown Moulding Company. His wife, Eleanor Lewis Brown, worked as a teacher and librarian for more than 40 years. She established the first Shelby County elementary school library at Montevallo Elementary School.

Prior to the renovation of the learning room, the area housed the library’s microfilm and microfiche collection. Kathy Lowe, director of the library, said they moved the collection to the library’s first floor. The first floor also contains a new entrance, learning commons, digital learning center, the university’s archives and other resources.

Stewart also said he is thankful to the library staff.

“To Kathy Lowe and the library staff, I’m grateful for what you do to make this library, this commons, the heart of learning on our campus,” he said.