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library atrium

The John and June Rogers Atrium as it will appear upon completion of the library renovation this fall.

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Pacific library gets $1M boost from local philanthropists

Jun 26, 2019

University of the Pacific students will again benefit from the generosity of philanthropists John and June Rogers. The central valley couple has pledged $1 million to support the William Knox Holt Memorial Library renovation project. The donation comes just two years after the couple established an endowed scholarship for Pacific students who aspire to become teachers.

Their gift will support the creation and naming of the John and June Rogers Atrium upon completion of the library renovation later this year. The new atrium, or "vertical village," will transform the reception area into a lighter, more welcoming space through a wall of windows that stretches to the second floor.  

Aside from the added benefit of letting in more natural light, there is intention behind the new design.  

"The open concept quite literally sheds light on our Student Academic Support Hub where students can come get tutoring, writing assistance and other academic support," said Mary Somerville, dean of the library. "We want to remove the stigma that some students associate with asking for help, and part of that includes removing the physical walls around these services. The reality is that proactively seeking academic support is one excellent way for all students to enhance their learning - it is not just a place for students who are in danger of failing. We want all students to utilize the academic support services available in the Hub."  

John and June Rogers hope their gift will support the university's goal of facilitating student academic success and improving graduation and retention rates. "We were particularly drawn to the Student Academic Support Hub," said John Rogers. "The more we can intervene and provide students with the services they need to succeed, the more likely they are to stay in school, graduate on time and find success in their careers."  

The library renovation is part of Leading with Purpose, a historic $300 million-dollar philanthropic campaign that focuses on improving support for Pacific students and faculty.    

"Accomplishing our vision for the revitalized library requires repurposing and redesigning the floors for collaborative learning," said Somerville. "We are so fortunate that John and June believe in our vision of building a library for 21st century teaching and learning."

For more updates about the library renovation, visit

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