A thank-you gift tied with a bow.

Students can get research, technology and academic help in one location. Photos by Lynne DeLade

When students come to the first floor of the library, they can get computer help from technology staff, meet with a reference librarian, work with a writing tutor, make copies of documents, or sit with their study group in a private room.

The first floor of the library has been renovated into the new Vivian A. Bull Academic Commons and has centralized many student services in one convenient location.

The extensive work took place over the summer, reopening at the start of the fall semester as a new work and learning space that honors Drew’s immediate past president.

“We wanted it to be a place that would serve all three schools, and that would support students, faculty, and staff alike,” says Dean T. Criares C’85, chair of the board of trustees.

The commons stretches from the library’s entrance to the Kean Reading Room and offers many features from private classroom space and a lounge area to a staffed reference table and convenient access to tutoring and technology help.

In addition, the newly painted and carpeted area provides faster wireless and conference tables for groups to meet and study.

“There’s a lot of energy in this space,” says Linda Connors C’64, interim dean of libraries. “What we’d really like to do is to create an even more vibrant learning culture at Drew. It’s very appropriate that it is named the Vivian A. Bull Academic Commons.”

Bull, who spent 32 years at Drew as an economics professor and a dean before returning to serve as president in 2012, “was an inspiration in our department when she taught here,” says Marc Tomljanovich, chair of the economics department.

“She has left lifelong impressions on her students. Some of them have become titans of industry, but are still so appreciative and impressed by her intelligence and passion for economics,” he says. “The Commons will honor her tireless engagement with learning for decades to come.”

By a unanimous vote and resolution at its May 2014 meeting, the Drew Board of Trustees also named Bull President Emerita, a rare honor that recognizes the meritorious service of exemplary presidents.—Elizabeth Moore