Grand Opening & Dedication — Eberts Memorial Library in memory of Purdue Professor & past LUM Board of Director president, Ray Eberts
This past Monday the Eberts Memorial Library was dedicated in memory of late Purdue professor and past LUM Board of Directors president, Ray Eberts. The dedication ceremony included an introduction by Joe Micon, LUM executive director; a presentation by Dr. Cindy Eberts; and a blessing of the library by Senior Pastor James Foster & Minister Thometra Foster from the Living Truth of Christ Church, Lafayette.
The dedication ceremony was filled with joy and hope for the endless educational possibilities this new collection will offer the students enrolled in the LUM educational enrichment programs. The highlight of the event was Dr. Cindy Eberts sharing her family’s story and a few special books with the students enrolled in the LUM After School Program.
The library contains over 400 titles in two seven-foot bookcases. It is located in the LUM Ray Ewry Youth Center (525 N 4th Street, Lafayette) and will be available to the students enrolled in the LUM After School Program, 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program, and LUM Camp.
To view more PHOTOS from the Eberts Memorial Library dedication ceremony, click HERE.
Seven months ago, Dr. Cindy Eberts set out on a journey to create a children’s diversity library for the students in the LUM educational enrichment programs in memory of her late husband, Ray Eberts. At the time of his death in 2003, Ray Eberts was professor and Director of Continuing Engineering Education at Purdue University. Ray Eberts was the President of the LUM Board of Directors in 1994 when the LUM Ray Ewry Youth Center was built. The new library is made possible by a generous gift from Dr. Cindy Eberts.
In preparation for the installation of the Eberts Memorial Library, Dr. Cindy Eberts met personally with African American authors of children’s literature, conferred with scholars on children’s literature, studied academic journals, and read hundreds of children’s literature books. Some of the books were favorites of the Eberts family; some come from their travels abroad including Australia, Canada and Japan; and others stemmed from her research. Cindy has personally read each and every book in the library — and each book is meticulously covered with library quality book covers.
The Eberts Memorial Library will also be used to host talks for the LUM students about various aspects of storytelling, writing and diversity. The Eberts Memorial Library is a wonderful opportunity for the LUM students to learn more about their own backgrounds as well as learning about and respecting others.
Family and close friends of Ray Eberts have contributed to purchasing books including Dr. & Mrs. Bill Cramer, Wescott Eberts, Dr. & Mrs. Randy Eberts, Dr. Paula Schwanenflugel, Mr. & Mrs. Betsy Sweatman and Cynthy Scruggs. Stewart Frescas & Steffan Eller assisted with the assembly of the bookcases while Bella Beige, Lafayette aided in the refinishing.
Thanks also to Von’s Bookstore, Lafayette and Meadowlark Books, Seattle for their generous discounts in purchasing part of the collection.
Ray Eberts (1954-2003) was born to the Rev. Harry and Dorothy Eberts and attended Wooster (Ohio) elementary schools, while his father was pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Wooster, OH. Professor Eberts was on the Industrial Engineering faculty at Purdue University, West Lafayette from 1983 until his passing in 2003. Surviving in addition to his wife, Dr. Cindy Eberts, are two sons, Russell (Seattle, WA) & Wescott (Austin, TX); brothers, Dr. Randy Eberts and Rev. Harry Eberts; and his parents (Kalamazoo, MI).
At Purdue, he was Director of the Continuing Engineering Education program; and in 1999, received the Helping Students Learn Award. He developed the first online class at Purdue, IE 533, “Industrial Applications of Statistics.” He was also the director of the Purdue Laboratory for Usability Studies. Eberts’ administrative responsibilities within the Continuing Engineering Education office included managing a staff of 12 and a budget of approximately $2 million. The number of enrolled graduate students increased by 55 percent while he was director. The number of off-campus sites increased by 75 percent during that time period. Eberts was well known for his work involving the rebuilding of Kabul University in Afghanistan, where he traveled in 2002 to train professors in the use of computers in the classroom.
Eberts was involved with the introduction of new technology at Purdue such as streaming video, animation, WebCT and CD-ROM courses. He was the first Purdue professor to offer a course completely online. He was the author of over 80 research papers and five books and made appearances on 100 talk-radio shows and several television shows, including programs on CNN and CNBC.