Learning Commons named for alumna Adele Coryell Hall

Research Infrastructure

Ashley Washburn, January 12, 2016 | View original publication

Learning Commons named for alumna Adele Coryell Hall

A newly completed $10 million space at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where students can gather and collaborate 24 hours a day opened Jan. 11 and will be named in honor of alumna Adele Coryell Hall.

Located on the first floor of Love Library North and providing an almost full view of City Campus, the 30,000-square-foot Adele Hall Learning Commons is designed to accommodate and promote intensive study and scholarly work. It allows collaborations and cross-discipline connections to take place between students and faculty, all within a technology-rich space with Internet connectivity.

The space includes a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and baked goods cafe, 18 private study rooms, access to an ASKus area and Huskertech help station, and a One-Button Studio where users can easily record presentations. It’s able to accommodate about 500 people at a time and has an outdoor plaza with additional seating.

“The Adele Hall Learning Commons will be the core of the student’s academic experience,” Chancellor Harvey Perlman said. “It returns Love Library to its central place in the academic environment of a modern 21st-century university.”

The project was made possible with nearly $7 million in private donations made to the University of Nebraska Foundation.

An undisclosed leadership gift was made by the family of Donald J. Hall, chairman of Hallmark Cards Inc., of Kansas City in memory of the late Adele Coryell Hall, a Lincoln native and lifelong devoted Husker who graduated from UNL in 1953. Don and Adele Hall were married for nearly 60 years and raised three children, Donald Hall Jr., David Hall and Margaret Hall Pence. A lifelong community volunteer and philanthropist, Adele Hall died on Jan. 26, 2013, at age 81.

A principal gift was made by alumni Kit and Dick Schmoker of Edina, Minn., and in their honor the main study area along the entire north side will be named the Kit and Dick Schmoker Study Center. Kit Schmoker graduated in 1964, and Dick Schmoker received an undergraduate degree in 1962 and graduated from the College of Law in 1964.

Candy and Tom Henning of Lincoln, who graduated from UNL in 1975, made a major gift to the project. The cafe area will be named the Henning Family Cafe in recognition of the Hennings and their daughters, Cassie Henning Kohl, a 2009 graduate, and Madeline Henning, a 2012 graduate.

Barbara Arnold, originally of Alliance, who graduated from UNL in 1965 and is a longtime ophthalmology surgeon in Sacramento, Calif., contributed to the Learning Commons project. The central information and technology support desk, staffed by library experts 24 hours a day, will be named the Barbara J. Lawrence Arnold, M.D. ASKus Exchange.

“With the help of our generous benefactors, we’ve captured Love Library’s role as the key academic hub on campus,” Nancy Busch, dean of the university libraries, said. “The Adele Hall Learning Commons is now the place on campus for students, faculty and staff to come and study alone or work in groups, using technology and our unique resources to further academic and research goals. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”

A grand opening and dedication event for the Adele Hall Learning Commons is March 28. All honorary namings associated with the facility are pending final approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

About Adele Coryell Hall

Adele Coryell Hall is best remembered for her generosity, philanthropy and kind spirit.

She was born on Oct. 7, 1931, in Lincoln and was a proud 1953 graduate of the University of Nebraska. While at Nebraska, she studied elementary education and English and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honors society and the Husker cheerleading squad. In recognition of her achievements of extraordinary and lasting distinction, the University of Nebraska awarded her an honorary doctoral degree in 1987.

Adele married Donald J. Hall in 1953. The couple met years earlier as children while their families were on vacation in Colorado. They were married for 60 years and lived for most of their lives in Kansas City, where Don serves as chairman of Hallmark Cards Inc.

She was known as the first lady of Kansas City. She served on the boards of numerous local organizations whose missions meant much to her, including Children’s Mercy Hospital, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, Pembroke Hill School, Salvation Army, Starlight Theatre and American Red Cross. She also served as the first female president of the Heart of America United Way and was a supporter of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. In 1990, she was the first woman to be named Kansas Citian of the Year.

Hall enjoyed a long history of giving to UNL, including generous support for the Lied Center for Performing Arts and creation of the Adele Hall Chair of English for permanent support of faculty teaching and research. She also provided a gift toward construction of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum on campus, naming a gallery in honor of her mother, Peg Coryell.

She died on Jan. 26, 2013, at 81 and is survived by her husband, Don Hall, son Donald J. Hall Jr., his wife, Jill, son David E. Hall, his wife, Laura, daughter Margaret Hall Pence, her husband, Keith, and nine grandchildren.

About the Adele Hall Learning Commons

  • Transformed nearly 30,000 square feet of Love Library North into an academic crossroads where students can gather and collaborate at the heart of City Campus.
  • Offers a technology-rich informal space with movable furniture to accommodate group or individual study.
  • Oversize windows with a nearly 360-degree view of City Campus.
  • 18 group study and project work rooms with an online reservation system.
  • Digital Learning Center where students can participate in self-paced, computer-aided study to supplement classroom learning or testing.
  • ASKus Exchange with access to information technology help and library experts 24/7, steps away from study spaces.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and baked goods cafe.
  • PC stations, wireless Internet access and charging stations.
  • Focus on student-centered study spaces that are relevant to how students use libraries.
  • Adjacent outdoor plaza is an example of how UNL is working to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff.
  • Features a monumental entry on the north facade and new entrance vestibules on the east and west, providing easy access from all directions.
  • Total redevelopment budget of $10 million, with nearly $7 million provided from private donations and the balance from university funds.

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