John B. Coleman Library Dedication 1988

Dr. John B. Coleman Cutting the Ribbon

Dr. John B. Coleman Cutting the Ribbon

With a few brief words, Texas A&M Regent John B. Coleman cut the ribbons to a new Library bearing his name before hundreds of Guests at Prairie View A&M University.

The dedication of the five-story library concluded week-long ceremonies marking Prairie View’s 110th Anniversary.

Picture of Coleman speakaing to members of the Texas board of Regents and to the administration of Prairie View

“You’ve given me the greatest honor anyone could have given to me by naming this library after me,” Coleman said to members or the Texas board or Regents and to the administration of Prairie View.

The day began with a homecoming convocation honoring students for service and Coleman for his contributions to Prairie View,Texas A&M and to higher education.

Texas state Senator Craig Washington, a 1966 PV graduate, praised the work of Coleman as he gave the convocation address.

“The most gratifying thing for me is to drive up (U.S.) 290 from Waller and see the John B. Coleman Library rising from the top of the hill,” Washington said of the new building. “We know without your leadership. Prairie View would not be what it is today.”

Other dignitaries applauding Coleman, the first black regent on the Texas A&M Board of Regents, included Dr. Percy Pierre, president of Prairie View, former regent Joe Richardson and A&M  Chancellor Perry Adkisson.

 “Of all the buildings on the campus, the library is the core,” Pierre said. “Prairie View has the honor of being the site of such a tribute to John Coleman and the contributions he has made to the state.”

“You can dream, aspire, be all you want to be, the sky’s the limit,”  Adkisson added. “John Coleman has done that for higher education in the state or Texas.”

The John B. Coleman Library will seat 1400 students.  It contains 220,000 volumes and can hold more than 500,000. Among the other features are an archives and special collections section on the fifth floor, an art gallery, a lecture auditorium, a cultural events center and an accelerated learning center built from federal education funds.

The library will also be the home of the works of Lt. Col (ret) Jesse Johnson on black contributions to the military and collections of paintings from Hazel Biggers,presented by Coleman’s wife Gloria. Later, a portrait of Coleman will be commissioned and hung inside the main foyer.

Picture of Dr. John B. Coleman

Dr. John B. Coleman

Coleman was very moved by the dedication could only muster a few words of appreciation, but the words were more than enough.

”I’m here to pledge to you I intend to contribute the rest of my life to higher education and this institution in particular.”

Source: 1988 Prairie View Year Book

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