The Daniel and Alice Ryan Collection on Charles Dickens will be a transformative addition to WPI’s own Dickens collection, where it will significantly augment the Robert D. Fellman Dickens Collection and create a world-class resource for students, Dickens scholars, and readers. Robert D. Fellman's gift in 1995 included a complete collection of the original published versions of all of Dickens’s novels; the addition of the Ryan Collection will make WPI's one of the most comprehensive collections of letters written by members of Dickens’s inner circle.
Thank you for considering making a gift to the Gordon Library. Gifts from generous donors help us build innovative and exemplary services, facilities, and collections that advance research, student projects, and cultural life at WPI.
Recent Gifts and Their Impact
Helen Shuster Digital Scholarship Lab
Library Director Emerita Helen Shuster helped usher in a digital age at Gordon Library. Now her gift has inspired WPI’s first digital scholarship lab, which opened in Fall 2018: a new space to teach and learn together about using transformative digital tools to address new questions and share knowledge in new ways.
Frank & Wilma Berth Endowment for the Arts & Humanities
Don Berth, former VP of University Relations at WPI, began this endowment in 1977 to honor his mother and father. Today the endowment funds dozens of new books each year. Many can be found in the library’s third floor ‘browsery,’ featuring books on vision, visualization, and visual design. Come explore them today.
Class of 1970 Café
The Class of 1970 gift of over $38,000 brought this popular café into the heart of the library in 2010. Celebrating its 10th birthday this year, the Class of 1970 Café is a favorite spot for a quick meal, a restful break, and a great cup of coffee. World newspapers and the café art gallery featuring art by students and faculty add to the café’s ambience. Students love it: “The café is the best place for breakfast and the staff are so friendly!”
Lightpainting Honors Alumnus
“The Definition of Possible” is a gift from Phi Gamma Delta fraternity that honors Walter Knapp '38, a longtime advisor to the fraternity who was active on the President’s Council and was the first alumnus selected for WPI's Senior Honorary Society Skull. The first artwork of its kind on any Massachusetts campus, the Lightpainting installed in 2014 over the entrance to Gordon Library was created by Stephen Knapp, a Worcester native and Walter's son.
Class of 2015 Mosaic
The Class of 2015 raised funds to honor the memory of Patrick Degenhardt ’17, with an endowed scholarship. With class donations and a generous contribution from Patrick’s parents, Shelden and Cheryl Degenhardt, and his brother Adam ’15, they also donated an illuminated mosaic of the WPI seal inside the entrance of the Gordon Library, dedicated in memory of classmate John Kamau Muthee ’15, and designed and created by the Boston-based firm Artaic.
Each year WPI students and faculty make Gordon Library their home away from home. Of all the things they need from us, more space is their biggest desire!
Today we have 750 seats where WPI students can work, meet, and study – but they need more. As our student population grows with WPI programs and research over the next five years, we are committed to adding up to 100 new seats in the library for those future students: spaces that are modern, welcoming, quiet, well-lighted, and full of inspiring company.
To help fund this dream, we are offering new naming opportunities for our most visible, innovative, and well-used library spaces. By ‘paying it forward’ you can help us realize our dream and serve the needs of all future students at WPI.
Please consider naming a Gordon Library space today!
Make a Gift
Make a gift to the library online with a credit card on WPI’s giving web page.
- To make a gift supporting the Gordon Library, please specify "Library Gift Fund" (11609-GF)
- To designate a gift to support WPI Archives & Special Collections, please specify "Library Archives and Special Collections Fund" (11311-GF)
To learn about other ways of making a gift to the library, please contact Diane Begreen in the Library Administration Office, email@example.com, 508-831-6003. To discuss an idea for a gift, please contact the University Librarian, Anna Gold, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Assistant Director for Archives & Special Collections, Arthur Carlson, email@example.com.
Gifts in Kind: For information about making gifts in kind to the library, please read the Gordon Library's gifts in kind policy.