WESTMINSTER - A $100,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations of Jacksonville, Fla., has been awarded to the fund-raising campaign for the Hoover Library expansion and renovation project at Western Maryland College.
The grant will be presented to the college by early 1991, according to Max King Morris, executive director of the foundations.
The Hoover project, scheduled for completion next October, will double the size of the library to 72,000 square feet -- enough space for the library's collection to grow from its current size of 163,063 volumes to more than 300,000 volumes within 20 years.
Exterior work on the addition is largely complete, and interior work is expected to be finished by January. Renovation of the older portion of the building will then begin. The original Hoover Library was constructed in 1961.
Total cost of the renovation and expansion is $10 million, with $8 million going to construction and $2 million to an endowed fund for operation and maintenance of the library. The Davis grant will benefit the construction fund.
"This is a big help to us," said Timothy R. Pyle, WMC's director of corporate and foundation relations. "It helps us get closer to our goal.
More importantly, it is not only significant to the project itself, but serves as testimony to the liberal arts program at Western Maryland. It shows good things are happening here."
Pyle said WMC has raised approximately $6.5 million for the project since the fund-raising campaign began in September 1988. He said the campaign has been the most successful in WMC's history.
According to Davis Foundations trustees, in recent years the foundations' focus on private higher education has narrowed to "concentrate on . . . institutions with outstanding records of teaching in the liberal arts and motivating students to pursue liberal arts majors. Support (is) reserved for colleges and universities of broadly acknowledged academic excellence and a solid record of financial strength."
The first of Davis' three foundations was organized in 1952 during the lifetime of businessman Arthur Vining Davis. Davis, president and chairman of ALCOA and an investor in real estate, banks, airlines, shipping companies and hotels, died in 1962. He left a fund of about $65 million for the creation of philanthropic foundations bearing his name, in support of tax-exempt educational, cultural, scientific and religious institutions within the United States and its possessions.
The other two Davis foundations, created by his will to receive the major share of his estate, are substantially larger than the one founded during Davis' life. They began operations in 1965, and first issued grants in 1967. Most of the foundations' grants go to private higher education, with lesser emphasis on hospice, medicine, religion and public television.