McCasland Foundation gift boosts library renovations

Dr. Michael Nealeigh and President John Feaver present McCasland executive director Barbara Braught with an award.
Barbara Braught (center), executive director for the McCasland Foundation, accepts a plaque from President John Feaver (right) and Dr. Michael Nealeigh, vice-president of university advancement, recognizing the foundation as members of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s Centennial Circle of donors at a donors’ banquet in late 2014. The McCasland Foundation recently made a donation of $100,000 for renovating Nash Library as part of the university’s Ready, Set, NOW Campaign.

McCasland Foundation gift boosts library renovations


A major gift from an Oklahoma foundation will boost ongoing renovation efforts at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma's Nash Library.

The McCasland Foundation gave $100,000 to the university’s Ready, Set, NOW Campaign dedicated to the library renovation project.

“The McCasland Foundation has supported major improvements at Nash Library over the years and this is just one more example of their commitment to the university and the students we serve, “said Michael Nealeigh, vice president for university advancement.

The McCasland Foundation was founded by T.H. McCasland in 1950 and supports education and other worthy causes throughout southwest Oklahoma.

The grant will be used to renovate existing library space into a “pocket library” for music students.

Library Director Kelly Brown explained that pocket libraries bring all the resources from a particular discipline into one location.

“Typically, music students will move between numerous library locations to find the books, online resources and equipment needed for their research,” Brown said. “The music pocket library will feature efficient shelving as well as appropriate computer and media equipment, consolidating all music-related library resources into the freshly renovated space.”

This innovative use of space will allow Nash Library to better support the academic progress of students seeking the bachelor of arts in music education and the bachelor of arts in music degrees as well as non-majors enrolled in artistic expression courses as part of USAO’s unique Interdisciplinary Studies core curriculum.

Gifts to the library renovation project have already made possible the completion of seven of the 10 major projects of the current campaign.

These projects include a 24/7 computer lab, commuter lounge, bistro-style group study area, the university archives, digital scholarship lab, individual study carrels, and ADA accessible restrooms on the first floor.

The projects awaiting funding as the campaign concludes later this year are the university museum and additional restroom upgrades.

The library renovation project received a major boost early in the campaign from USAO Regent and Ready, Set, NOW Campaign chair Mo Anderson, of Edmond, who designated $250,000 of her $590,000 gift to the library.

Renovations of Nash Library is one of four projects of the Ready, Set NOW Campaign, the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign.

The campaign is expected to wrap up in the fall of 2015.