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Cameron University receives $1.25 million gift from McMahon Foundation to update CU Library

The McMahon Foundation has presented Cameron University a $1.25 million gift that will be used to fund a substantial upgrade of the library on its Lawton campus. The renovation will include additional collaboration spaces for students and faculty, meeting rooms that will be open for public use, and construction of an atrium that will house a bistro. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the 2020-2021 academic year.


“The trustees of the McMahon Foundation are most happy to participate in the renovation of the Cameron Library,” says Mike Mayhall, Chairman of the McMahon Foundation trustees. “Cameron University is one of Lawton’s brightest stars, and it has been gratifying for the Foundation to have played a part in its growth and success over the years.”


Besides expanding the building with a bistro and adding more informal spaces for discussion and collaboration, the first floor of the library will be reconfigured with an emphasis on increased technology-enabled collaboration spaces, more access to electrical outlets, and better wireless connectivity. In addition, the renovation will upgrade restroom facilities to Americans with Disabilities Act standards – including family-friendly options – and parking adjacent to the CU Library will be expanded.


“We are truly indebted to the McMahon Foundation trustees for making this much-needed renovation possible,” says Cameron President John McArthur. “The library upgrade was developed as a direct response to feedback we received from students and patrons. The CU Library is one of the most highly utilized facilities on our campus and plays a vital role in the ability of our students to achieve academic success in their pursuit of college degrees. Expanding the space and adding additional services will greatly benefit our students and the community at large.”


University officials hope to award a construction contract by the end of the summer so that the renovation can start August. The library will remain open during construction, which expected to last most of the 2020-2021 academic year.


Opened in 1965, the CU Library initially housed the university’s administrative offices on the first floor, with the second floor serving as the library facility. With the completion of a new Administration Building in 1969, the library was able to convert the first floor offices to much-needed library space. In the early 1980s, a construction project added more than 50 percent more space to the CU Library, allowing staff to expand the facility’s academic collection and services. Since then, computer facilities and audio/visual enhancements have been added.


The McMahon Foundation has provided an estimated $20 million in support to Cameron University in recent decades, making it the leading donor in the university’s history. These gifts have funded countless scholarships, provided support for academic programs, and funded campus improvements that include the Louise D. McMahon Fine Arts Complex, the Academic Commons, the McMahon Centennial Complex, and various athletic facilities.


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PR#20-058


March 10, 2020