UVM Alumni House Project Receives Funding for the "Newton Library"
$250,000 Gift from School of Business Administration Alumnus
- By Jay Goyette
A number of new entries in the lexicon of UVM people and places will be made when the naming opportunities in the Alumni House renovation project have all been spoken for.
Among the first is the “Newton Library,” an elegant oak-paneled enclave in the expansive Queen Anne mansion at 61 Summit Street slated to become the focal point for UVM alumni activities in the coming decades.
Named in recognition of a $250,000 gift from School of Business Administration alumnus Jeffrey Newton ’79 of Concord, MA and his wife Sarah, the Newton Library is expected to be a central gathering and relaxation spot for visiting alums when they arrive on campus.
Newton remembers the room as an important part of his experience as one of the brothers of the Delta Psi fraternity, which owned the house from 1924 until its purchase by the university in 2007. “The library in particular brings back a lot of good memories for me,” he says. “It was a central location for many social gatherings of the fraternity brothers, so I spent a lot of time in that room. It has wonderful architectural details, and I know it’s going to be a showpiece when it’s done.”
The Alumni House renovation project is the top fundraising priority for the UVM Alumni Association and is the first such project in UVM history that will be financed entirely by private giving. The site, combined with that of the adjacent Grasse Mount facility, will create a significant four-acre presence for alumni on the west side of campus. Alumni House will be a place that alumni can use as a headquarters for annual events like Reunion and Homecoming and Family Weekend, as a meeting place for Alumni Association committees and boards, and for meetings of the student class councils.
Alumni leaders have championed the need for an alumni center on campus for years. Newton shared that view. “I have always thought that UVM should have an alumni center as a hub for returning alums, and I was thrilled to hear about the plan to renovate Delta Psi for that purpose,” he said. “The Delta Psi house is a perfect choice. It is beautiful, has an interesting history, and is in a great location. I can’t imagine a better meeting spot for visiting alums.”
As donors, the project drew the Newtons’ support because the impact of their gift was clear. “The fact that we could see some direct impact was very appealing to us,” Newton said. “Just like the Davis center has improved the experience of UVM students, the Alumni House will greatly improve the experience of alums.”
The Alumni House project has secured more than $2 million in commitments toward its $13.5 million goal to date.