University of Vermont

Vermont Quarterly

Restoring Billings to its original grandeur

The old Billings library


Gift helps restore Billings to its original grandeur

Since its dedication in 1885, the Billings Library has been a vital part of the UVM educational experience, acting as both a student center and as a home to scholarship and learning. In December, alumnus Richard Ader ’63, and his wife, Pamela, who were impressed with the H.H. Richardson architectural gem, made a $1 million commitment toward its renovation that will help restore the library to its original grandeur.

“I came to UVM on a basketball scholarship, so this is one way to acknowledge that debt,” said Ader, co-owner, chair, and managing partner at U. S. Realty Advisors, LLC, in New York. He credits a large part of his success to his UVM education.

“When you visit Billings Library, you notice how peaceful it is as a place for students to work—they’re tucked away at desks, reading and studying and enjoying the solitude and quiet. You also realize its long history and importance on campus and to the people of Vermont.”

When completed, the renovation project will return the library to its original purpose as a vital information resource for students, faculty, and staff.
“This is a priority project in the strategic plan for the University Libraries,” said Mara Saule, dean of libraries. “The Aders’ gift brings us much closer to restoring Billings to its former glory and to providing Special Collections with a historic home.”

The Aders have long supported the University and have given generously to its programs, including the Richard and Pamela Ader Green and Gold Professorship, which is currently held by William Mierse, professor of classics. They named a room in the School of Business Administration for Richard’s mother, Etta Ader. And they, along with alumnus Paul Konigsberg ’58, helped establish the Richard Ader/Paul Konigsberg Endowment for the Center for Holocaust Studies in 2003.

“Once restored, the Billings Library will house the Carolyn and Leonard Miller Center for Holocaust Studies, which meshes well with my ideology. I appreciate that it’s here,” Ader said. “People might be surprised to learn that UVM has one of the largest programs for Holocaust studies in the United States.”
The renovated Billings Library is a major part of the capital improvement program underway at UVM. When completed, it also will house the Center for Research on Vermont.

“I wanted to show my gratitude with this gift,” Ader said. “Billings Library needs to be preserved, and I’m happy that Pam and I can be of help.”

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