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Dr. Ralph R. Chase West Texas Collection

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History of the Friends of the Library and the West Texas Collection

When Dr. Maurice Fortin was hired as library director in 1996, one of his first goals was to establish a Friends of the Library organization. A group of faculty and community users came together to set up guidelines for a Friends organization.  An interim Board of Directors was established and held their first meeting on Aug. 21, 1997.  Members of this board included:

  • Arch Black
  • Jeanie Coffey
  • Dr. Gloria Duarte
  • Patsy Eckert
  • Lisa Fuentes
  • Sandra Gray
  • Ann Hindman
  • Dr. Phillip Holcomb
  • Betty J. Mayer
  • Ross McSwain
  • Dr. James Ward

Suzanne Campbell of the West Texas Collection served as the liaison between the library and the Friends.

During the meeting the group approved the by-laws and the articles of incorporation. These were sent to the IRS to establish the group as a non-profit, tax exempt organization. Ross McSwain was elected president of the Friends.

On June 10, 1999, the first meeting of the Friends Board met. Members of this first permanent board included:

  • Arch Black
  • Patsy Eckert
  • Paul Frizell
  • Betty J. Mayer
  • Ross McSwain
  • Anita Monk
  • Judy Niemann
  • Harold Chandler
  • Dr. Shirley Eoff

By this time there were 120 members.

The board appointed a committee to determine the possibility of holding a book sale. Another Friends event, a genealogy workshop, was also explored. Book sales have been held each year since 2000, and genealogy workshops have been held until recently.

To date, the Friends of the Library have held other events such as “Treasures in the Attic,” several “picture parties” where individuals try to help identify photographs, book signings, openings of displays and mini-displays. 

In addition, the Friends sponsor two $400 scholarships each fall and spring semester. One scholarship is given in honor of Joe Bill Lee, longtime library director at ASU, given to a student assistant in either the library or the WTC. The second scholarship is the Dr. Henry Ricci scholarship given to a nursing student. Dr. Ricci was a member of the Friends Board and a supporter of both ASU and the library.

Each long semester the Friends also provide free coffee and cookies during final exam time.  

Join the Friends

Complete the Friends of the Library Membership Form and mail it with your payment.

About the Friends

The Friends of the Library support ASU and the West Texas Collection with several projects.

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Friends Events

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