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Transylvania, Carnegie Center agree to explore partnership

Transylvania and the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning have signed an agreement to explore the possibility of a significant partnership that could lead to new programs and more Transylvania student participation in volunteer activities at the center.

Carnegie center

The year-long commitment began July 1. It calls for the Carnegie Center and Transylvania to share space for programs, concerts, lectures, receptions, and similar events; to expand or modify current programs at the center; and to formalize and expand service learning and volunteer support opportunities.

“We are excited to have this collaborative effort with Transylvania formally acknowledged,” said Eileen M. O’Brien, president of the board of directors of the Carnegie Center. “Both organizations have demonstrated a tremendous commitment to lifetime learning and the literary arts, which bodes well for our future.”

President R. Owen Williams stated, “Our goal is for Transylvania and the Carnegie Center to work together to better enhance our dedication to lifetime learning.”

Transylvania has a long history of its students volunteering in various capacities at the center, including as tutors. “We believe we can do more than what we’ve been doing and are excited about the possibility of making the Carnegie Center even stronger,” Williams added. “This is a wonderful agreement.”

Carnegie center signing
Eileen M. O’Brien, president of the Carnegie Center board of directors, joins President R. Owen Williams in signing an agreement to explore partnership opportunities.

The Carnegie Center is housed in a three-story, 1905 neoclassical building at the south end of Gratz Park, which is just across Third Street from the Transylvania campus. The facility was originally funded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie as the Lexington Public Library. When the library moved to a new location in 1989, the building was extensively renovated and reopened in 1992 as the Carnegie Center.

Because of its proximity to the Transylvania campus, Gratz Park has long been a favorite destination for students, faculty, and staff. The park is home to the oldest surviving former Transylvania structure, the 1819 East Dependency. This low brick building supported the university’s first administration building, which burned to the ground in 1829, to be replaced by Old Morrison in 1833. The land now known as Gratz Park was Transylvania’s original Lexington campus.

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