Letters to the Editor, Campus News

Loss of green space is community concern

As a retired professor, I consider myself an interested member of the Emory community. I feel I have the right and the duty to criticize my own institution.

During the recent years I have been concerned at the headlong way development (usually for good things) has proceeded without regard to esthetics or care for our natural environment.

The most glaring example yet seems to me the destruction of the ramp and the ravine between the Candler Library and the Woodruff Library in order to place a larger building between the two--a so-called "Virtual Library"--what a phrase!

This seems a sort of climax illustrating the thoughtlessness of this development aimed at making Emory University a "great university." It is as if there has been a conspiracy to wipe out all of our green spaces, which have lent an atmosphere of leisure and beauty to the campus. (I know that doing this huddling together of buildings is economical in regard to keeping the utilities close together, but could not another motive or premise have entered into this planning?)

A great part of the beauty and appeal of Emory has been just this fortunate setting of the academic life in the midst of a landscape of natural beauty. We had been fortunate that in the original construction of the Woodruff Library and the ramp leading to it that this juxtaposition of learning and landscape should have occurred. The approach to the library was dignified. And this approach was enhanced by the proximity of the ravine and its plants, trees, small stream and little animals.

I found it ironic that the Emory Report carries in the issue of Oct. 28, 1996, two contrasting stories: on the front page the story of the destruction of the ramp and the ravine without a hint that not all the campus viewed this happening with joy, and on the inside page, a story about the University Senate worrying about and caring about the "visual enhancement" of Emory Village outside our gates.

As a lover of Emory and its campus, I could not allow myself silence.

Elizabeth Stevenson
Emeritus Professor, American Studies

Director of libraries responds

Many of us in the libraries and throughout the campus share Elizabeth Stevenson's concerns about retaining lovely green and open spaces on the Emory campus. That is why we have gone to such a great effort to plan the addition to Woodruff Library and maintain the major portion of the ravine, replanting it with trees and plants native to this area of the Piedmont Forest. Once we have completed construction of the new Center for Library and Information Resources, we expect to have a park-like atmosphere providing wonderful opportunities for the Emory community to enjoy the greenery, beautiful landscaping and the stream that will flow below the structure. We would be pleased to share the drawings and plans with any members of the community. I know that Emory's Committee on the Environment was pleased many months ago when we discussed the plans with its members and responded to their suggestions.

The present Woodruff Library is situated in a way that has made an addition extremely difficult. It was only after much discussion and careful thought given to every possible alternative that we moved in this direction. Moving into the ravine offered the best opportunity for integrating library services, ultimately linking all three buildings--Woodruff, the new Center and Candler --and functioning as one entity.

Our goal is to provide the Emory community with something special--both within and outside the new building.

Joan Gotwals
Vice Provost and Director of Libraries

Troeger is Whiteside distinguished preacher

Preacher, author and composer Thomas H. Troeger, Ralph E. and Norma E. Peck Professor of Preaching and Communications at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, will be the 1996 Whiteside Distinguished Preacher for a service of worship at the Candler School of Theology at 11 a.m Thursday, Nov. 14, in Cannon Chapel.

Troeger was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1970 and served as local pastor until 1977. He taught homiletics for 14 years at Colgate Rochester Divinity School before joining the Iliff faculty in 1991. For the past three years he has hosted the "Seasons of Worship" TV broadcast for The United Methodist Church, and he has given conferences and lectures in worship and preaching throughout North America and Australia.

Troeger is author of more than a dozen books in the fields of preaching and worship and is a frequent contributor to religious journals. He also is a flutist and poet whose work appears in the hymnals of most major denominations. Much of his teaching and scholarship has focused on the function of the imagination in the life of faith. Troeger's recent books include The Parable of Ten Preachers, Borrowed Light: Hymn Texts, Prayers, and Poems and Ten Strategies for Preaching in a MultiMedia Culture.

Colored paper recycling drive is on

Emory Recycles is sponsoring a colored paper drive through Nov. 30. During the drive, Emory Recycles will accept a mix of colored and white paper in Emory Recycles white paper receptacles. Magazines, newspapers, sticky address labels from flyers and envelopes and colored carbon sheets will not be accepted. For more information, contact Recycling Coordinator Elaine Gossett at 727-1796.

Return to the November 11, 1996 contents page