The Penn State College of Communications celebrated the 100th anniversary of its current home and Penn State University Park's original library building, the Carnegie Building, on Thursday, Nov. 18. Industrialist Andrew Carnegie donated $150,000 for the construction of Carnegie Library on campus in 1899. The building was completed in 1904 and dedicated on Nov. 18 of that year. Said Doug Anderson, dean of the College of Communications, "Like the Nittany Lion Shrine, Old Main, Beaver Stadium and the Creamery, Carnegie Building is Penn State."
Photos on display in the lobby during the centennial celebration showed the Carnegie Building's main entrance through the years. The building served as Penn State's primary library through 1940, replacing the overflowing, two-room library located in Old Main.
Photographs depicted the construction at the rear of Carnegie Building from 1940-1942. Through the years, the building served as home to the music department among many others, as well as the student newspaper, The Daily Collegian. At one time it even was a firehouse. The School of Journalism took up residence there in the early 1950s, when the building was known as Carnegie Hall.
Barbara Bird, associate professor of communications, center, introduced the documentary "100 years in Carnegie," which she and film students Taheerah Holston, left, and Justin Herman produced, chronicling the 100-year history of Carnegie Building. "We're relative newcomers to the building, but the documentary we've made has been a labor of love," Bird said. "We're Penn State proud to be part of the idea, tradition and spirit that is the Carnegie Building."
Distinguished Alumnus Larry Foster, a 1948 graduate in journalism, has with his wife Ellen significantly contributed to renovations of Carnegie Building and provided several endowments for the College of Communications. As the "human bridge" between the two half centuries of the building, Foster addressed the building's history and bright future, holding a mock phone call with the building's financier, Andrew Carnegie. "I'm not sure you can feel youngish and be the human bridge between two half centuries," Foster joked.
Patrick Parsons, associate dean of the College of Communications, introduced plans for the future of Carnegie Building. He said the ground floor will undergo a major renovation. The renovations will include the addition of the Arthur W. Page Conference Room and Archive, new film and digital photo labs, a Pro Tools studio, computer labs and an information technology services suite. Construction will begin in the summer of 2005 and be completed in the spring of 2006. "It is going to be more than well worth the effort," Parsons said. "It is going to be a wonderful facility for students, staff and faculty."