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CU dedicates Eugene D. McMahon Library

Cameron University’s Eugene D. McMahon Library was dedicated Monday, the latest in a growing number of initiatives made possible by more than $20 million in support by the McMahon Foundation over the years.

An extensive renovation project to the library, which first opened in 1965, was made possible by a $1.25 million gift from the McMahon Foundation. The gift funded the addition of an atrium and bistro to the library, as well as collaboration spaces for students and faculty, and meeting rooms available for public use.

McMahon Foundation trustees Phil Kennedy, Kenneth Bridges, Todd Bridges, Kenneth Easton, Mark Henry, David Madigan and Mike Mayhall toured the renovated facility prior to the naming ceremony.

Marshall Sadler, the vice president of the Cameron Student Government Association, delivered keynote remarks on behalf of the student body. He is the grandson of the late Gale Sadler, the longest-serving trustee in McMahon Foundation history.

“From the time that I was young, I heard of the impact of the projects that McMahon supported,” Sadler said. “The Eugene D. McMahon Library continues this long-lasting support.”

He said the library renovation is “vitally important to the education and mission at Cameron University and continues the legacy of the McMahon family. The library helps foster a student-centered academic environment with quality educational opportunities, and this renovation has impacts for the Cameron student community.

“This significant investment reflects the importance of immersion in education and the reading that it requires,” Sadler continued. “The positive effects of the investment in a library are continual, and they do not end with education. Cameron students will be better equipped to lead and excel in their chosen careers because they had access to a quality building like this.”

CU President John McArthur reflected on the McMahon Foundation’s history of university support.

“Without the support of the McMahon Foundation, Cameron University’s growth over the past 60 years would have been greatly impeded,” McArthur said. “For generations, the trustees of the foundation have embraced Cameron’s vision of academic success and state-of-the-art facilities. As the hand of the McMahon Foundation has touched literally every aspect of our campus, it is fitting that we recognize foundation co-founder Eugene D. McMahon in this way. This is a better facility for the students of today and the students of tomorrow.”

The facility honors Eugene D. McMahon, the only child of Lawton businessman and attorney Eugene P. McMahon and his wife, Louise.

Eugene D. McMahon suggested to his mother that they establish a charitable trust to preserve his father’s memory after his death in 1935. The foundation was established in 1940 “to improve the social well-being” of Lawton, and has funded a great number of community projects, many of them educational. Mrs. McMahon often gave her personal funds to help Cameron students pay tuition. In 1963, the foundation made its first “large-scale” gift to Cameron, a $1,200 donation earmarked for scholarships for music majors.

Since then, the McMahon Foundation has provided given Cameron more than $20 million in support, making it the leading donor in university history. These gifts have supported the Presidential Leaders and University Scholars program, as well as fund McMahon Scholarships that benefit students in a variety of disciplines. Cameron initiatives and academic programs supported by the McMahon Foundation include KCCU-FM, the Louise D. McMahon Endowed Chair in Music, CU’s eSports Arena, and new greenhouses that are utilized by agriculture and biology students.

The foundation has also funded a long list of campus construction and improvements, including the Louise D. McMahon Fine Arts Complex, the Academic Commons, the McMahon Centennial Complex, McMahon Field and Athletics Center, the McMahon Learning Center, greenhouses utilized by various academic programs, and projects at Aggie Gym, McCord Field and McMahon Tennis Courts.



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