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AAMU Carnegie Library: A History of Philanthropy

AAMU Carnagie Libary: History of Philanthropy

Guest blog by Asia Thurmon, Philanthropy Intern

Part of building equity and tearing down divides is to share history that elevates the attitudes of the majority population about worthy endeavors of the minority population, and how mobilizing generosity from the former can improve quality of life for the latter.

Carnegie Library was the first building on the campus of Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. This significant building was built in 1904 with the help of a $12,000 donation from the Carnegie family.  Unfortunately, shortly after it was built it burned down. Being that the community took such pride in this library, with the students’ help they were able to rebuild the library. This example represents of how generosity can be mobilzed when a community comes together around an issue.

Currently, Carnegie Library at Alabama A&M University is standing tall and can house over 200 people with two reading rooms, seminar and reference rooms, and offices for the staff of the library. As an Alabama A&M student, I never would have imagined philanthropy existed on my very own campus. This  semester as a philanthropy intern with the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, I have been given the opportunity to identify the gaps that exist in North Alabama and see how donors are working together to support the nonprofits working to close those gaps.

The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville is “here for good,” and this phrase was on that the students back in 1906 lived by as they made sure that this historical building stayed on my illustrious campus.