The official unveiling of the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music’s high-tech library, the Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library and Technology Center, took place last Sunday. Faculty, friends, alumni and trustees-with mango martinis in hand-gathered outside the building during the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony to express gratitude to all those who helped make the endeavor a success.
“This marks the third major contribution of the Weeks, and we are profoundly grateful,” William Hipp, dean of the School of Music, said in his opening remarks. “Very few schools of music can boast having a free-standing music library and technology center.”
The Weeks, longtime benefactors of the University, initiated their string of philanthropic contributions to the School of Music in 1998 with the L. Austin Weeks Center for Recording and Performance. Soon after, they created the L. Austin Weeks Music Scholarship Endowment, which provides financial assistance to over 20 undergraduate students each year.
Dean Colson, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said that he is not surprised with the contribution.
“She is really one of those special people in the world,” Colson said of Marta Weeks.
“Marta is a wonderful human with a strong sense of ethics,” UM President Donna Shalala said. “She is a model for philanthropists.”
“Our experience at Miami slashes and trashes the idea that libraries aren’t needed.
The Frost School of Music possesses one of the nation’s major university music library collections. The new, 28,000-square-foot library houses the music school’s extensive collections of media, from books and videos that were previously in the Richter Library to scores and recordings that were in the Pick Music Library. It also provides research and study areas such as reading, seminar and music listening rooms.
“This is a marvelous addition to the school-it was much needed,” said Dottie Drennan, who received her Ph.D. from the School of Music in 1975.
– The advanced technology center features music
engineering, keyboard/computer/MIDI, electronic computer
music, and media writing and production labs.
– The building will house reading, seminar and music-
– The music library measures 28,000 square feet.
The library’s lobby is named and dedicated to the memory of Austin Weeks’ mother, Una Austin Weeks, as part of a lasting tribute to her.
“When students first entered the lobby, I saw their eyes go big and their jaws drop. They were in awe of the facility,” Hipp said.
The advanced technology center will play a crucial role in increasing technological literacy for graduates of the Frost School of Music.
“I took music lessons a long time ago, and the technology now is mind-boggling,” said Marta Weeks, who already has a favorite spot in the library.
“Our experience at Miami slashes and trashes the idea that libraries aren’t needed,” William Walker, the University librarian, said. “We can expect this to be a hotbed of activity. This is a library that was sorely needed, and we are deeply indebted to the Weeks family for making this possible.”
The Weeks Music Library and Technology Center is the first of many construction projects still underway in efforts to revamp UM.
Shalu Patel can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.