Library wing at BYU named after Elder Perry

PROVO, Utah — The new special collections wing of the BYU Harold B. Lee Library will be named in honor of Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve — the result of a $3 million gift donated to the university in the apostle's name from a private foundation.

The donation is an effort by the ALSAM Foundation to honor Elder Perry for his commitment to education and for providing an example of management and loyalty in the business arena, said foundation president Michael Miller.

Before being sustained as an Assistant to the Twelve in 1972 and as an apostle in 1974, Elder Perry was vice president and treasurer of a department store chain in Boston, Mass.

Elder Merrill J. Bateman of the Seventy and BYU president said the special collections library will be fitting tribute to a man known for his integrity, compassion and love of learning.

He added that Sam and Aline Skaggs, founders and trustees of the ALSAM Foundation, have had a lasting influence on BYU and its students. "This gift will now memorialize the great contributions of the Skaggs and of Elder Perry," said Elder Bateman.

During a telephone interview with the Church News, Elder Perry said he is overwhelmed and honored to have his name associated with such a fine collection of educational materials.

"In the age in which we live today, education is absolutely essential," he said. "No one without a good education can really excel. We have a great responsibility in the Church to encourage everyone to have a lifetime search for education."

The L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library will be housed in a new wing of the Harold B. Lee Library, currently under construction. It is scheduled to open to the public in the summer or fall of 1999. BYU's special collections holdings can currently be accessed in a smaller space, located in the existing library building.

The new wing will be among the most pre-eminent special collections facilities in the nation, said Sterling J. Albrecht, university librarian. Holdings in the special collections library are valued at $153 million and include 280,000 books and printed items, more than 500,000 historical photographs related to Utah and the West and more than 8,000 different manuscript collections.

The collection also contains the university's rarest and most valuable book, manuscript and photograph collections, including books documenting the Renaissance and the Reformation, 19th-century literature and the history of Great Britain and the United States.

It also includes manuscripts documenting the early history of the Church and early Church figures and collections relating to the history of Utah and the West.

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