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The Founders Renaissance Initiatives


To build a vibrant and resourceful environment for the Information Age with a robust impact on learning and knowledge creation, and the preservation of the cultural legacy.


Highlight the program's value to Howard University--emphasize impact on research, learning, talent development and the preservation of intellectual and material legacy. The following programs represent funding interests specific to these areas. We seek an attention-grabbing proposal that convinces the donors that the Howard University library is an expertly run organization, the center of cutting-edge technology that is indispensable to Howard University students and faculty, and worthy of the donors’ investment. Donors will know where funds are allocated, and then see tangible evidence of their philanthropy. Our program is designed to allow for easier promotion, and for participation by smaller donors. The more people involved in this program, the broader the potential support.


  Digital Learning Classroom, FL 116: $500,000 endowment.
Stress the critical importance of information management and critical skills in the highly competitive world of the 21st century. Those students who will flourish in the fast changing environment of the 21st century will have capitalized on such skills. As a strategic factor, information and its effective use is the equivalent of money, productivity, quality, and innovation.
  Graduate Technology Forum FL 240: $400,000 initial construction, plus $500,000 endowment
Unlike peer and other similar universities, Howard University Libraries does not provide any reserved graduate study rooms for individual or group study. High-end workstations with various applications-- word and data processing; authoring tools; group ware systems; scanners; video-communication.
  Undergraduate Computing Lab--50-workstations: $500,000 initial cost for wiring, equipment/furnishing; $1,000,000 endowment to generate $100,000 annually for equipment maintenance and service support.
  Information Kiosks, Founders Lobby and UGL Lobby: $10,000 each.
  Multimedia Learning Center, UGL: $500,000.
The Center will be transformed into a Multimedia enclave for access to and training in the use of computer and network-based electronic media. It will feature classrooms with videoconferencing capability, listening and scanning stations, as well as cable and satellite hook-up.
The Founders Library is the jewel piece of African-American architect Albert I. Cassell. The building is the signature structure of the main campus. It was designed and constructed under Cassell's close supervision in 1937-39, during a period in American history when professional opportunities in architectural design and construction were severely limited for African Americans. Nevertheless, with native talent, unique drive, and incurable optimism, Cassell was able to surmount the obstacles of poverty and rigid racial prejudice. Unfortunately, the Founders Library interiors have been minimally maintained. The eighteen original white oak tables show the effect of over 60 years of continuous service (and abuse). Their tops are worn out, the legs are heavily soiled. Fortunately the overall structure is robust. An authentic restoration of these historic pieces of Howardiana will demonstrate that we care about preserving Howard’s material heritage. In an authoritative study on educational excellence, Alexander Astin maintains that one of the key determinants of educational excellence is student engagement, and the level of such engagement is closely related, among other factors, to the quality of life on the campus.
  Restoration of twenty 1938 white oak reading tables, $6,000-$20,000 each table, including: Eight 4'x4' tables; twenty-one 4'x8' tables; nine 4' round tables; and three 4'x14' tables. (see brochure)
The sponsors for each project will be immortalized by means of cast bronze plaques, permanently attached to the respective objects.


  • Restoration of 1938 Cast Bronze Clocks, Founders: $5,000
    There are 12 wall clock with solid bronze faces.
  • Restoration of one 1938 white oak floor clock, $15,000
  • Restoration of one 1938 white oak floor atlas, $5,000
  • Restoration of eight 1938 solid cast bronze sconces, $5,000

  Restoration of architectural woodwork (Founders Main Lobby, Hallways, Reference Room, and Browsing Room) $500,000
The sponsors for each project will be permanently recognized by means of cast bronze plaques, permanently attached to the respective objects.
  Restoration of Channing Pollock Theatre Collection, Founders: $200,000
The refurbishing and renovation of the Pollock Theatre Collection will create an alternative space for revitalizing out-of-classroom exchange. Writers and would-be writers from within and outside the University can assemble informally for public readings of their poetry and other creative works, with the backdrop of books by Shakespeare and other literary giants.
  Restoration of Room 300A, Founders: $200,000
This room, which has been the site of lectures by Ted Koppel, Mike Wallace, and other national spokespersons, will be enhanced to sustain and invigorate the community of learners who gather for seminars, panel discussions, videoconferences, and other events designed to promote social and intellectual exchange.
  Resurfacing of Founders Main Lobby and Hallway floors with terrazzo, $250,000. The current flooring is made of asbestos tiles, many of which are damaged beyond repair. The sponsors for each project will be immortalized by means of cast bronze plaques, permanently embedded into the terrazzo floor.
  Restoration of lighting in Founders Reference Room, Treasure Room, and Browsing Room, $400,000.
The original fixtures were removed and discarded in an earlier renovation project (about 1976). They were replaced with modern fluorescent fixtures, many without covers. Near-replicas of the original 1937 pendant fixtures will be installed. The sponsors for each project will be immortalized by means of cast bronze plaques, permanently attached to the respective objects.

Design, production and installation of African and African-American thematic tapestry in the Reference Room/East and the Circulation Hall, $6,000 per tapestry.
The Heritage Hall will provide a focal point illustrating the history of people of color. Its impact on one's sense of history and worth, as well as the effectiveness of learning can be tremendous. (Similar sites: Nationalities Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh; University of Carolina Library, Chapel Hill)
CreativityZone: A Web Magazine of the Arts: $5,000, annually. Funding will support one student editorial stipend and web production fees. CreativityZone purports to encourage and promote creativity. It will publish on the World Wide Web articles, poems, short stories, graphic art and other creative works in any medium produced by Howard University students, faculty, staff, alumni and retirees.
$5,000 one-time cost. A campus cybertour that reflects the spirit of Howard University--be it a building, an art work, people, interiors, classroom, library, stage, or laboratory setting, social gathering, nature scene.
Donors will be able to select from a list of 100 wanted titles for the Reference Collection in the Founders Library. Each volume will be book-plated in honor of the donor.


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