Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, Dr. & Mrs. Carpenter!This dedication ceremony is coming a little late. The building and us have been living together for almost a year now. So it was high time we made it legal.Actually, there is a simple explanation for the delay: we wanted this ceremony to coincide with the naming of the building. The Student Government Association, Miss Melanie Angelieri and former SGA President Jamie Pearthree recommended to our elected legislators to name this library for our founding president, Dr. Thomas G. Carpenter. Senator Joe Carlucci and Representative William Bankhead introduced legislation into the two houses which was approved by the 1981 Florida legislature. Today’s events were the first opportunity after Governor Bob Graham’s signing of the bill that we could schedule our delayed dedication.We are please the students’ choice. We would be hard pressed to think of any other personal or institutional friend whose name we could more proudly wear. Dr. Carpenter has always honored the library and the staff with his trust and unwavering support without which our modest accomplishments would not have been possible.The calendar may not say so but today is Thanksgiving Day for us. I want to take a few minutes to publicly thank all those individuals who were instrumental in bringing this library to life. In observance of the chronology of events, I should first mention my good friend and colleague Mr. William R. Munson, our Physical Planning Consultant, who was the first to recognize the need for a new structure. He helped us write the building program and have approved by the appropriate authorities. He also assisted us with advice and counsel throughout the planning stages; in fact in time we came to think of Bill as a kind of human security blanked.Next, I must repeat my often expressed gratitude to Dr. Carpenter for the confidence he had in the abilities of the library staff. He had given us a totally free hand in the planning, which undoubtedly makes this the only library anywhere ever to be planned in its entirety by its staff. It is only proper that I should also thank my excellent colleagues for their valuable contributions.Of course our planning would have been meaningless without the participation and expert assistance of the architectural team of Helman, Charvat and Peacock. It was a pleasure to work with the staff of the firm, and at the risk of straining the truth I hope they can say the same about us. We are particularly grateful to Mr. Tom Hurley for the elegant design of the building and to Mrs. Preston Elliot, a member of the firm through marriage, for the delicious design and magnificent execution of the huge cake this is waiting for you inside.Although he could not be with us this morning, I would like to thank Senator Mattox Hair of Jacksonville, who worked so tirelessly on our behalf in the Florida legislature to ensure the allocation of funds that made the building of the library possible.We also thank the Department of General Services of the State of Florida for the assistance given during the construction period; we thank our general contractor Tuttle, White Co. for their work in the execution, and we thank Heaven that the building was finished and we were in it when the contractor went out of business only two short months ago.The UNF Library could not have come into existence and could not have flourished without the formal and informal support of its many friends. While we thank all those who have helped us over the years, we are certain that we have many more friends who have not yet stepped forward to be involved with the activities of the UNF Library. In order to reach them, we are now in the process of organizing a Friends of the Library group. Should any of you wish to join, you with find printed invitations to do so at several locations on the first and second floors. Rather than delay the proceedings by enumerating the various features of the building, I invite you to address your questions to the library staff members who would be glad to answer them. In closing, I would like to add that we are pleased to have this new, spacious, attractive home for our collection, for our patrons, and for the library employees. We know that this library represents a major educational and cultural resource for northeast Florida and we are eager to share it with anyone who care to come to use and use it. We sincerely hope that all members of the Jacksonville community with take as much pride in the Thomas G. Carpenter Library as our faculty and students do.Thank you.
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