Philadelphia University celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Paul J. Gutman Library on Nov. 9 with a special reception and ceremony.
Gutman library, named after the son of the late Alvin Gutman, a long-time member of the University’s Board of Trustees, opened in 1992 and has since become the research, information and computing hub of the University.
The library currently supports Philadelphia University students with more than 150,000 volumes, 80 computers, print and electronic resources and three floors of study and research space. “Even after 20 years and despite the huge amount of information available online, the library remains a campus centerpiece, with numbers of visitors increasing each year,” said Karen Albert, library director. “The forward-thinking design and excellent library staff have enabled the building to keep pace with the dramatic changes in libraries that have occurred over the past two decades.”
The anniversary celebration nearly doubled as a Gutman family reunion, with many relatives of the Gutman family in attendance to show their support of the library and the University. Mary Bert Gutman, the wife of Alvin, and her grandson Matt Gutman (Paul’s son), a national and international correspondent for ABC News, addressed the crowd of students, faculty, staff and friends of the University celebrating the event.
Matt Gutman, who has covered such top stories as the Iraq war, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the highly charged killing of teen Trayvon Martin, gave the keynote speech. Gutman spoke about how despite rapid changes in technology, the heart of journalism has stayed the same over the years.
“I think that journalism hasn’t really changed because we haven’t changed,” Gutman said. “We deliver information because, as a society, we want information. But we also kind of like the gossip side of the news too.”
Gutman shared stories about how journalism was conducted from the age of Benjamin Franklin through to Walker Cronkite and the current state of the industry. He also conducted a lengthy question and answer session with the audience about his experiences covering foreign affairs, dealing with criticism and the meaning of true stories.
Designed by Shepley Bulfinch, architects of The Kanbar Campus Center and Philadelphia University’s new DEC Center, the 54,000 square-foot Gutman Library received the Louis I. Kahn Award in 1993 for its outstanding design. Twenty years after its founding, the library remains a central component of the University’s mission and a valued place of research and scholarship for current students.