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History of the Mary and John Gray Library

Ground was broken for the Mary and John Gray Library on September 17, 1973. Governor Dolph Briscoe and Congressman Jack Brooks, a Lamar graduate, were among the dignitaries present for the groundbreaking. The ceremony coincided with Lamar's Golden Anniversary Convocation, harkening back 50 years to the original establishment of South Park Junior College. The Lamar University Regents named the building after Mary and John Gray. The Chairman of the Board of Regents, Otho Plummer, declared that the regents "kept two goals in mind--that we would be expressing deserved appreciation for past services and that the name would be an inspiration for the future greatness of Lamar." The eight story structure, constructed as a visible monument for the campus, was officially dedicated on April 26, 1976. Among the many guests and speakers was Dean Edward G. Holley of the American Library Association, who had served as a consultant to the construction project.

Previous Lamar libraries were housed in what has now been renovated as the Galloway Business Building and in the old South Park High School. The 8th floor of the present building serves as the reception center for the university and the Golden Triangle community. There are two banquet/meeting rooms on the 8th floor. The larger of the two is named the Spindletop Room, in commemoration of the 1901 oil discovery that ushered in the modern petroleum industry era. The smaller of the two is named the Lamar Room, in honor of Mirabeau B. Lamar, the second President of the Texas Republic and "Father of Education" in Texas. The large reading room/reception area that fronts the two banquet/meeting rooms on the 8th floor is named in honor of Miss Julia Plummer, who had a distinguished 31-year career as Head Librarian at Lamar. The roster of Head Librarians over the years:

  • Mr. David Carroll, 2008-
  • Mr. David Carroll (Interim), 2007-2008
  • Dr. Christina Baum, 2004-2007
  • Mr. David Carroll (Interim), 2004
  • Miss Linda Dugger (Interim), 2001-2004
  • Mrs. Kathleen Murray (Interim), 2000-2001
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Avery, 1995-2000
  • Mrs. Kathleen Murray (Interim), 1994-1995
  • Dr. Joe McCord, 1988-94
  • Miss Maxine Johnston, 1980-88
  • Dr. R. Blaine Thomas, 1970-80
  • Dr. Andrew Johnson, 1967-70
  • Miss Julia Plummer, 1936-67
  • Mrs. Ralph Barton, 1929-36
  • Mrs. Frances Long, 1927-28
  • Mrs. J.B. Morris, 1925-27
  • Mrs. Gus L. Ford, 1923-24
  • Mrs. Karen N. Eds, 1922

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