Tag Archive for Moody Memorial Library

(Digital Collections) “Modern, Functional and Beautiful” – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Moody Memorial Library Groundbreaking

October 21, 1966 marked a major event in the history of Baylor University when students, trustees, faculty and supporters gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of a “modern, functional and beautiful” new library. Named in honor of a generous gift from the Moody Foundation of Galveston, the Moody Memorial Library building was a much-needed expansion of Baylor’s physical plant and a crucial element in a long-range plan called Projection 68 that sought to grow the university’s physical footprint and enhance its reputation as an institution of higher education.

A Key Component of Projection 68

A new library facility was identified as one of three major components of Projection 68, an ambitious plan aimed at rejuvenating the aging infrastructure of Baylor’s campus. Parts of the campus built environment dated to the mid 1880s with buildings like Old Main and Burleson Hall, and the library facilities housed in the Carroll Library building were woefully inadequate for the swelling numbers of students enrolled in classes by the 1960s.

Tom Parrish, director of development and a participant in the Moody ceremony, called Projection 68 “a plan which when realized ‘will raise Baylor to a new plateau of service. We must think big and act big because the challenge is big at Baylor.'” In addition to the new library, Projection 68 called for construction of a new wing on Waco Hall for the School of Music; improvements to the auditorium at Waco Hall; and construction of a new science building.

Moody Memorial Library was slated for construction at the far end of what is known today as Fountain Mall, just across Third Street from the main campus. In 1966, the land across Third Street from campus was residential all the way to the Brazos River. This aerial photo by Windy Drum, from The Texas Collection Photographic Archive, shows the general area in the mid-1950s.

area_aerial_map

Click to enlarge. See the full photo in The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

 

As part of a major redevelopment project called Urban Renewal – which radically transformed the landscape of Waco during the 1960s – the area between Third Street and the Brazos River was acquired and ceded to the university by the Baylor-Waco Foundation, and plans to expand campus toward the river began immediately.

A call for proposals for the library’s new design went out and the winning bid went to the Dallas architecture firm of Jarvis Putty Jarvis. An early rendering of the library – proposed to be situated on Burleson Quadrangle, not the area across Third Street where it would eventually be built — looked like this:

Architects' renderings of proposed new library for Baylor University, 1964.

Architects’ renderings of proposed new library for Baylor University, 1964. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

 

Moving the library’s site to the new area across Third Street also allowed for changes to be made to the proposed elevation of the facility, and the more-or-less final design was available for presentation by Jarvis Putty Jarvis at a meeting on October 14, 1966.

Photo of Jarvis Putty Jarvis representatives with library building rendering from the October 14, 1966 Baylor Lariat.

Photo of Jarvis Putty Jarvis representatives with library building rendering from the October 14, 1966 Baylor Lariat.

 

The same rendering can be seen in this photo of Joe Allbritton and Abner V. McCall from around the same time.

Photo of Joe Allbritton and Abner V. McCall with library building rendering.

Photo of Joe Allbritton and Abner V. McCall with library building rendering. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

 

Images of the Ceremony

The day of the ceremony dawned clear but breezy. As Baylor Lariat reporter Mike McKinney noted in his front-page coverage of the event, “Speakers held down their notes, women covered their blowing hair and most everyone had on sunglasses” during the festivities.

 

Mike McKinney's article on the ceremony, from the October 22, 1966 Baylor Lariat.

Mike McKinney’s article on the ceremony, from the October 22, 1966 Baylor Lariat.

 

Dignitaries took their places on the viewing stand for a program that included speeches from Joe Allbritton (chair of the Board of Trustees’ Library Committee), Baylor University librarian James Rogers and Baylor president Abner V. McCall. A brass ensemble provided musical accompaniment to the festivities, and the event concluded with the ceremonial first shovelful of dirt being turned by Mrs. Mary Moody Northen of the Moody family. To make things easier for all involved, McKinney notes that a pile of sand was trucked in for the ceremony by maintenance crews so as to “make digging a little easier.”

We also know that no university has achieved true greatness without excellent library facilities.”

– Joe Allbritton, from groundbreaking ceremony address

Scenes from the ceremony were captured by commercial photography Lavern “Windy” Drum. The originals are available as part of the photographic holdings of The Texas Collection, with digital surrogates viewable in the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections. Selections of those digital versions are presented here.

Ceremonial shovels await the beginning of festivities next to the speakers' platform.

Ceremonial shovels await the beginning of festivities next to the speakers’ platform. Photo by Windy Drum. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

Mary Moody Northen turns the first shovel of dirt during the groundbreaking ceremony. Photo by Windy Drum. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

Mary Moody Northen turns the first shovel of dirt during the groundbreaking ceremony. Photo by Windy Drum. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

 

View from behind the speakers' platform at the groundbreaking ceremony. Note Pat Neff Hall in background and Marrs McLean Science building on right. Photo by Windy Drum. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

View from behind the speakers’ platform at the groundbreaking ceremony. Note Pat Neff Hall in background and Marrs McLean Science building on right. Photo by Windy Drum. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

 

Ceremony participants (from left) Joe Allbritton, Hilton Howell and Baylor University president Abner V. McCall with ceremonial shovel.

Ceremony participants (from left) Joe Allbritton, Hilton Howell and Baylor University president Abner V. McCall with ceremonial shovel. Photo by Windy Drum. Image courtesy Baylor University, The Texas Collection, Waco, TX via The Texas Collection Photographic Archive.

 

The speech delivered by committee chair Joe Allbritton was released as a press release after the ceremony, but it is reproduced here in non-ALL CAPS FORMAT for your review. Note that several sections of it are quoted directly in the coverage provided by the October 22 edition of the Baylor Lariat.


Text of Baylor trustees’ library committee chair Joe Allbritton’s speech at the Moody Memorial Library groundbreaking ceremony, Friday, October 21, 1966

There have been many momentous occasions in the 121-year history of Baylor University, but none excels the cause that brings us together this morning and none will mean more to the future greatness of our university.

I’m sure there are those who will disagree with that conclusion. Some may even contend that the winning of the Southwest Conference football championship in 1924 was a more auspicious achievement.

Suffice it to say we have somehow managed to survive on the gridiron for 42 years without another conference title and likewise we have progressed and grown into a respected and reputable institution of higher learning despite inadequate library facilities for at least that long a span of time.

I think it is reasonable, and certainly delectable, as we return to campus for homecoming, to speculate on the possibility of achieving both goals this year.

Of course, football fortunes come and go because they largely depend on the transitory nature of human elements — or translated into the Bridgers’ vernacular, manpower or personnel. School presidents, professors, even chairmen of library building committees are of but fleeting importance in the long-range scheme of building a great university.

But a library, and the wisdom and knowledge contained therein, is of a different nature.

Thomas Carlyle put it appropriately some 100 years ago when he said: “After all manner of professors have done their best for us, the place we are to get knowledge is in books. The true university of these days is a collection of books.” If true then, all the more is it true today. The explosion of knowledge since World War II, particularly in the physical sciences, makes it imperative that this relatively new knowledge be made readily accessible to the university student.

And certainly just as important as the new, mushrooming technology of the space age, are the truths, the opinions, and the philosophies of old — some of which, when brought into perspective can be of invaluable assistance in solving the social problems that still defy solution.

Norman Cousins, editor of the Saturday Review, addressed himself to this phase of a library’s importance when he wrote: “… one of the unhappy characteristics of modern man is that he lives in a state of historical disconnection. He has not put his experience to work in coping with new dangers. He has tended to segregate himself from the wisdom so slowly and painfully built up over long centuries. He has made the mistake of thinking that because there is so much that is new in the nature of contemporary crisis the past has nothing of value to say to use …”

“it is in this sense,” Cousins continued, “that the library may be able to speak to the human condition in today’s world. For books serve as the natural bloodstream of human experience. They make it possible for the big thoughts of big minds to circulate in the body of history. They represent a point of contact between the past and future.”

As we break ground today for the magnificent Moody Memorial Library I feel that we are commencing a new era of academic achievement and excellence at Baylor University. Today marks the beginning of the end of Projection 68 which was designed in 1963 to provide the physical improvements so necessary to further the academic maturation of our University.

Already completed are the improvements to our School of Music and the Auditorium in Waco Hall, and the new science building is well under way.

We have known for years that the inadequacy of physical facilities stood as a barrier to our objectives and that the lack of a modern, efficient, and excellent library was the major obstacle in the path toward a truly great university.

Through the dedication and hard work of many — the administration, the trustees, the ex-students, and the many friends of Baylor — we have been successful in raising most of the funds necessary to bring Projection 68 into reality.

While we must continue our efforts to assure our fundraising goals, we can now at least begin to shift our major development emphasis from the physical to the academic. While our physical plan needs were critical, we all realize that architecture, brick, and stone merely provide the proper setting and environment for those who work in the academic community and allow them to perform their tasks and services at a higher level of inspiration and efficiency.

We also know that no university has achieved true greatness without excellent library facilities.

Paul Buck, the former director of libraries at Harvard University, has pointed out that the quality of a university’s library is “a major factor in determining the quality of the education that an institution can provide and the quality of the faculty it can recruit. Strong libraries are essential to the full exploitation of intellectual resources and to the maintenance of free access to ideas,” he concludes.

In the past few years Baylor has reached the crossroads of excellence in education. The university administrators and trustees could have taken the path of least resistance — we could have patched the roof and taken other temporary measures and in so doing still maintained and improved a good university.

Rather, we took the more difficult path toward excellence, because it is the most logical road for Baylor to travel toward maintaining and improving and excellence undergraduate program and expanding the graduate program to meet the increasing demands of our state and nation.

So today, Baylor University, the oldest university in continuous service in the State of Texas, looks to the future with confidence and great expectations.

Our goal is not bigness, for this is not the function of a private, religiously oriented university. Rather, our objective is quality.

We have made great strides toward this objective. But always, the lack of physical facilities — particularly inadequate library space — has caused concern and slowed the pace of progress.

The modern, functional and beautiful Moody Memorial Library will be the catalyst that will move the university toward realization of its true potential.

NOTE: The preceding text was edited slightly from the original to address typographical errors. Read the full address in its original typewritten form in the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections.


A Final Look at Early Moody

The 1967 Baylor Round Up, the campus yearbook, shows how much progress was made by the time the official story of 1966 had been documented and told by Baylor’s student journalists.

Image from construction site of Moody Memorial Library toward Fountain Mall from 1967 "Baylor Round Up."

Image from construction site of Moody Memorial Library toward Fountain Mall from 1967 “Baylor Round Up.”

 

Today, we mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the building in which so many Baylor library staff, faculty and students have spent time – including those of us in the Digital Projects Group, whose offices are located on Moody’s Garden Level. We will be providing periodic updates to the construction and grand opening of Moody in advance of the 50th anniversary of its debut in 1968, so stay tuned to this blog for much more to come!

 

(Digital Collections) “A Long-time Minister of the Gospel and a Great Leader in Our Southern Baptist Convention”: The Selsus E. Tull Collection

Excerpt from formal photograph of Dr. Selsus E. Tull, ca 1900

The newest addition to the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections is a fascinating archival collection long housed in the Moody Memorial Library: the sermons and papers of Dr. Selsus E. Tull, a Baptist minister with more than a half-century of service to Southern churches and an influential member of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Tull was born in rural Louisiana in 1878 to a “Confederate soldier who fought in Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia under Jackson, Early, and Gordon.”(1) He received an education at Union University and attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for a year before striking out to serve as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Kosciusko, Mississippi.

Thus began a lifetime of preaching the gospel at Baptist churches across the South. From Mississippi to Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and finally in Florida, Tull pastored churches large and small for the better part of half a century. In addition to shepherding his flocks through crises large and small, Tull became influential in Baptist politics on a national level in two major ways: a revolution in church administration and sponsorship of a written stance against evolution.

The Lord’s Work on a Budget: Tull’s Approach to Church Administration

In his oral memoirs, Tull reveals a frustration felt by many pastors in the early 1900s.

“Well, in those days, in passing the plate at church, you got practically no money; people just gave their incidentals that they had in their pocket. It wasn’t near enough to pay the pastor, even. And so, [FBC Kosciusko secretary] Lockard Brown would get out of his store at the end of the month and go around the square, asking the fellows, ‘Time to pay the preacher now, and you can give me some money for the preacher.’ And that’s the way pastor’s salary was collected.” (2)

Tull mentions that he saw a similar situation at all the churches he pastored in his early years and became determined to do something different. During his pastorship at First Baptist Church of Paducah, Kentucky, Tull hit on the idea of creating a budget for the church. He sat down in his study and “made out a local budget of all the costs it would take to run the church.” He wrote his plan on a chalkboard, assembled his church membership and said,

“Now, brethren, if you’ll adopt this budget, which is a perfect unified budget of denominational and local costs, we’ll not have any more collections in this church. We’ll ask people to subscribe to this budget by an every-member canvass and bring their money to church every Sunday. And at the end of each month, we’ll remit to the denomination on this percentage basis what we owe the denomination and if there’s any deficit anywhere, it’ll fall on those expenses and not on the denominational causes.” (3)

The plan passed with flying colors, and when Tull transferred to a new church in Temple, Texas later that year, his condition for taking the job was that the church adopt a similar setup. The church agreed, and Tull’s new approach began to garner interest from other churches in the Southern Baptist Convention. Eventually, it made enough noise that the idea of making his approach standard across the convention was brought up for a vote in 1916. It passed a floor vote, and following a review by a hand-picked committee of prominent Baptists, it was released denomination-wide under the title Church Organization and Methods: A Manual for Baptist Churches in 1917.

Title page from “Church Organization and Methods” by S.E. Tull et al., 1917

The “Tull Resolution” of 1926

Tull’s name came back into the spotlight in 1926 when he was tangentially involved in the national debate over evolution as personified by the “Scopes Monkey Trial” of 1925. At the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual convention in Memphis that year, members voted to adopt the “Memphis Articles of Faith,” which read, “We believe that man was created in holiness under the law of his maker.” A proposal to add the words “and not by evolution” to this statement was narrowly voted down by the members, but it would be brought up again in a different form at the annual meeting in Houston in 1926.

That year, a statement was introduced that read, “This convention accepts Genesis as teaching that man was a special creation of God and rejects every theory, evolution or otherwise, which teaches that man originated or came by way of a lower and animal ancestor.” The statement was accepted by the membership, and Tull suggested it be accepted and endorsed by all “our institutions, from the Foreign Mission Board down,” including seminaries. It subsequently became known as the Tull Resolution and was adopted at the 1926 convention as well.

Excerpt from page one of Tull’s sermon “The Devil in Robes of Light,” first delivered April 29, 1934

The Tull Collection at Baylor University

How Tull’s papers came to Baylor is an interesting story in and of itself. In 1965, Tull gave his oral history to Dr. Robert Baker of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as part of the Texas Baptist Oral History Consortium (TBOHC) on behalf of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The director of TBOHC, Dr. Thomas Charlton, would later serve as director of the Texas Collection at Baylor University and was an integral part of the oral history community at Baylor for many years.

A promotional flyer for Dr. Tull’s services as a “Baptist Evangelist”

When Tull died in 1973, his daughter, Martha Tull McKnight, signed the agreement to open Tull’s memoirs to the world, and they were included in Baylor’s Texas Baptist Project, a collection of oral histories from Baptist luminaries across the state. This pre-established relationship with Dr. Charlton and Baylor University led Tull’s family to donate his papers – including his hundreds of envelopes filled with his handwritten sermon notes – to the university, where they have been stored as part of the Baptist collection in Moody Library for many years.

Tull’s sermons in original storage box prior to digitization and rehousing in archival storage

A chance conversation between Digitization Projects Group (DPG) staff and Beth Farwell, assistant director for the central libraries, led us to investigate the collection, and it was an easy decision to make the Tull sermons a candidate for digitization. To date, we have digitized more than 400 of his sermons, with some 200 having been fully transcribed into computer-searchable text. The process of placing them online began this summer, and they will be added to the collection on a consistent basis until the entire collection is available online.

To learn more about the Tull Collection, and to get better acquainted with Dr. Tull and his work, visit the collection’s homepage. We hope you’ll find this dedicated servant’s life journey fascinating, and that the output of his ministerial work is enlightening, revelatory and informational.

And do take time to read his oral history for a complete look at his life. Tull’s 94 years were filled with interesting events, and his homespun phrases – including “He lost his molasses jug and made a mess of it” (4) to describe a speaker’s anger – make for an all-around excellent summer read.

Photos from the Selsus Tull Collection. Citations 1-4 from the Oral Memoirs of Selsus Estol Tull courtesy the Baylor University Institute for Oral History.