Central Baptist College alumni, students, staff and friends had a lot to celebrate this weekend.
Friday and Saturday, CBC celebrated Homecoming 2014, and part of the festivities included the dedication of the new Story Library Saturday morning.
CBC President Terry Kimbrow said that the job of the college is to educate, but the passion and ministry of the college is to “see lives changed through the transforming power of Jesus Christ.”
The Story Library, Kimbrow said, will be one way the faculty and staff of CBC can make an impact on students.
“This building is just another avenue to help us do our job more effectively,” he said.
The library is named in honor of Max and Debbie Story of Magnolia, Ark., who have been faithful supporters of the college, including several generous contributions.
“The Lord didn’t call me to be a preacher, but I know that he called me to do what me and my wife try to do,” Max Story said. “I support his work in any way we can and this is all about furthering the cause of Christ and furthering his kingdom around the world.”
The 16,094 square foot library “is not yesterday’s library,” said CBC Vice President for Academic Affairs Gary McAllister. It includes library administration staff offices, learning commons, more than 30 computer workstations, 15 laptop plug-ins, five LCD digital signage displays, a multimedia classroom, Café 52 and café seating area, the Dr. Ronald V. Mitchell Archives, science resource center, media curriculum center, conference room, group and private study rooms and book stacks. McAllister said it will soon be the “hub of campus” and students, teachers and the community alike will be able to utilize what it has to offer.
Cafe 52 was named to commemorate 1952, the year CBC was founded. It serves Distant Lands Coffee espresso drinks, smoothies, cold coffees, pastries, sandwiches and desserts. It is open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday.
The Dr. Ronald V. Mitchell Archives were named after the CBC professor of theology and history by the same name. It includes materials that document the history of Central Baptist College, the Baptist Missionary Association and Arkansas Baptist history as it pertains to the Baptist Missionary Association and Central Baptist College.
“I still use some of the notes I took in Dr. Mitchell’s class,” Kimbrow said. “He told me that, ‘When you build that library, there better be archives.’ And that was before it was named for him.”
Mitchell spent his life collecting many of the materials in the archives, and Kimbrow promised him that collection would live on.
Part of the Vision 2020 campaign, the library was completed under budget with less than $4 million.
Conway Mayor Tab Townsell said the accomplishment is both a tribute to the college’s success and an enhancement to the city.
“They’re not only changing this college,” Townsell said. “Look around, look at the stability they bring to this neighborhood. So I say congratulations. My hat is off to you.”
The Story Library was the second of 10 projects that make up the Vision 2020 capital campaign to complete 10 major projects in 10 years to accommodate 2,020 student. The next project — a 150-bed residence hall — is currently on track to be completed in August at the beginning of the fall semester.