Moody Library, one of the first buildings on the HBU campus, has been renovated into a vibrant and inviting hub focused on holistic education due to generous gift s from the Hamill Foundation, Houston Endowment, the Moody Foundation and the Doris and Terry Looper family. In phase one last year, the library and library services were moved entirely to the second floor, which created space for 13 new academic success offices, new offices for TRIO support services and a make-over for the student studying and group work area. The first floor received new carpet in the summer of 2015, and new paint and all new furniture were installed during phase two in the summer of 2016. The generosity of the Moody family, after whom the library is named, provided new library restrooms.
The classroom in the library 100 relinquished 1,000 square feet of space to make room for the new offices, and the classroom now has three floor-to-ceiling white board walls and a 70-inch BigTouch interactive screen. John Holmes, associate vice president for facilities and campus operations, described the screen as “the world’s largest iPad.” The BigTouch screen from InFocus was created to enable interactive learning and lectures. More than a typical smartboard, the giant tablet operates on a Windows operating system with touch technology that is intuitive for millennial students.
The Doris and Terry Looper Learning Commons is an open area on the first floor of Moody Library with tables and couches arranged for studying and socializing. The commons is adjacent to the campus coffee shop and provides easy access to the library and student success coaches. It was dedicated September 20, 2016, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Terry Looper, a former member of HBU’s Board of Trustees, spoke at the dedication. “It’s become a reality. It’s fun to see it and know that the students can enjoy it. It’s going to be so much fun to see how this continues to unfold over the years to come.” Part of the Looper gift was for the library facilities, but most of the funds were designated for a discipleship initiative within the Spiritual Life department. The gift has already funded the transportation for a student disaster relief mission trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The Pillars asked Colette Cross, director of Discipleship, about the new initiatives. “Success for us is that students come to know the Lord. For all faculty, staff and students, we hope their relationship with Christ would be strengthened or discovered, whether that is through a small group or individual one-on-one discipling, through Convocation, a student event or in the classroom. Our hope through this discipleship initiative is that one’s relationship with Christ is strengthened, and it doesn’t just stop there. Included in this growth is intentionality in living and speaking their faith commitment into others’ lives.” The Looper gift is enabling HBU to implement discipleship across the campus with students, faculty and staff , through organizations, campus events and one-on-one discussions.
Dr. Sloan informed the crowd that the Loopers originally donated the generous gift anonymously and were hesitant to have their names displayed in the Learning Commons. Doris Looper explained, “We are uncomfortable with our name up there because we really give God the glory. That is why we are here. It is God. This is where He has moved our hearts with lots of prayer.”