A Million-Dollar Gift for the David B. Weigle Information Commons
A new and innovative resource that will enhance the learning experience of students across several dimensions is being created. The David B. Weigle Information Commons is a joint undertaking by the School of Arts and Sciences and the University Library that will support undergraduates as they conduct research and experiment with technology and collaborative learning. The Commons was made possible by a $1 million gift from David B. Weigle, W ’69.
“David’s vision splendidly supports our efforts to foster collaborative educational enterprises across the University,” President Amy Gutmann said. “We are grateful for his support and leadership on this cutting-edge and multi-faceted project.”
“This unique partnership between SAS and the University Library promises to advance learning at Penn as students and staff collaborate,” added SAS Dean Rebecca Bushnell. “There will now be a central location on campus that provides the technologies and the services for students to experiment and to do their very best work.”
The David B. Weigle Information Commons will be housed in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library and will incorporate the College Tech Center, the Digital Media Center and the Student Learning Laboratory. The flexible, technology-rich space will support study groups and collaborative learning and will offer training, equipment and support for work with video, web publishing and other digital media. There will also be services and support for students as they work to improve their skill, effectiveness and confidence in writing, speaking and original inquiry.
“What’s innovative about the Information Commons is its holistic approach to learning and research,” noted Vice Provost and Director of Libraries Carton Rogers. “It will be there to assist students as they strive to explore and understand complex issues, to integrate knowledge from many perspectives and sources, and hopefully to share and communicate their knowledge through presentations and published research.”
“The Information Commons will be a comprehensive setting where students can take advantage of University resources aimed at enhancing their academic skills,” said Mr. Weigle, who is a Library Overseer and President of Swan Engineering & Machine Co. in Bettendorf, Iowa. “When Dean Bushnell called the Information Commons one of her top priorities, I knew I had to act. My support is really a partial repayment of the debt I owe to Penn. As an undergraduate, I could have used these resources.”
The Information Commons will occupy 6,600 square feet on the first floor of the Library. The project was designed by Ann Beha Architects and is scheduled to open in the spring of 2006.
Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 8, October 18, 2005