Earth And Mineral Sciences Library To Receive New Name, Million-Dollar Endowment
May 8, 2001
University Park, Pa.—A million-dollar gift to the University Libraries will honor Distinguished Alumnus Fletcher L. Byrom and create an endowment for acquisitions and programming at the Earth and Mineral Sciences Library.

Penn State’s Board of Tustees will be asked to name the library the Fletcher L. Byrom Earth and Mineral Sciences Library.

The gift comes from George Middlemas, a 1968 Penn State graduate who serves as volunteer chair of the Libraries Campaign Committee, part of the University-wide Grand Destiny fund-raising campaign. Byrom was a friend and mentor to Middlemas, a resident of Chicago.

Byrom, who received his degree in metallurgy in 1940, is retired chairman and CEO of the Koppers Co. and Standard Brands Paint Co. He served on Penn State’s Board of Trustees from 1970 to 1973 and was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 1963.

“Fletch Byrom was a great influence on me a young man,” said Middlemas. “He was responsible for me attending Penn State, and we spent a lot of time in conversation and debate—he certainly helped to sharpen my intellect. I can think of no better way of honoring a former University Trustee and Distinguished Alumnus than to have a library named in his honor.”

The endowment will be named the Fletcher L. Byrom Earth and Mineral Sciences Library: Program and Collections Endowment.

“The endowment will support the purchase of books, journals, electronic databases, software and other materials and technologies that meet the needs of the patrons of the EMS library,” said Nancy Eaton, dean of the University Libraries. “In addition to strengthening our collections, income from the endowment will also be used for special programs and other services and scholarly activities as the need arises. We are extremely grateful to George for his generous ongoing support of the Libraries.”

The Earth and Mineral Sciences Library, located in Deike Building, is part of the University Libraries. It serves about 130,000 patrons annually—primarily students and faculty in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, but also patrons from across the University and throughout Pennsylvania.

George Middlemas is a managing general partner of Apex Investment Partners, a venture capital firm. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and political science.

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Contact:  Mike Bezilla 863-4512 (work) 238-5842 (home) mvb13@psu.edu