Moody Memorial Library: The heart of Baylor’s academic endeavors for 50 years now
Moody Memorial Library. For half a century, it’s been where textbooks are studied, all-nighters are pulled, projects are procrastinated, and friendships are formed. So much time is spent in “Club Moody” that many call it their second home on campus. October 21, 2016, marks 50 years since its groundbreaking.
Plans for a new library came out of “Projection ’68,” a set of goals laid out in the 1960s to update Baylor’s aging campus and raise the prestige of the university and its graduates. In a time without personal computers, smartphones, the Internet or Google, an impressive library gave students a central location to study, research, and ultimately impact the world around them — and the old Carroll Library just wasn’t big enough anymore.
Initial plans in the spring of 1964 called for the library to be built on Founders Mall, replacing Old Main, Burleson and Harrington halls (with a Lariat editorial calling for Old Main, the least run-down of the three at the time, to perhaps be dismantled and rebuilt on another site). By the fall of 1965, those plans had changed, as administrators ultimately decided to restore the historic Burleson Quadrangle buildings and place the new library on Third Street, at the end of what is today Fountain Mall.
“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,” said Joe Allbritton, LLB ’49, chairman of the trustee library building committee, at the groundbreaking ceremony during the 1966 Baylor Homecoming weekend. “The modern, functional and beautiful Moody Memorial Library will be the catalyst that will move the university toward realization of its true potential.”
The ceremony then concluded with the ceremonial first shovel of dirt turned by Mary Moody Northen of the Moody family and the Moody Foundation, for which the library is named. Nearly two years later, in the fall of 1968, Moody Library — in all its 185,000-square-foot, four-story, 1960s architectural glory — was finally completed.
Since then, generations of Baylor students have trekked to Moody to work on term papers and cram for finals. Today, students benefit from such features as a 24-hour quiet area for studying, a computer lab in the basement, and a Starbucks right in the lobby — making it easier than ever for Moody Memorial Library to truly become a student’s second home.
Sic ’em, Moody Library!
[Sept. 2018 update: Moody is celebrating turning 50 this month, including a 50th birthday party Sept. 14! More info: baylor.edu/lib/moody50]
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