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Gift to The College of Idaho will build new library

A new library serving as an intellectual commons for The College of Idaho will be built with an estate gift that is one of the most significant in the history of Idaho’s oldest private college. The gift was made by Deborah Cruzen Murray, a former trustee of the College, and her husband Glenn Richard Murray, Jr. C of I President Marv Henberg said planning has begun for the future library, to be named the Cruzen-Murray Library, with the goal of creating a modern facility that promotes learning in all respects.

“To fully achieve its potential, a library must be a welcoming place for the many ways in which teaching and learning occur,” Henberg said. “We will be designing a library that may be best characterized as a hearth, a warm place that invites inquiry and dialogue.”

In addition to space for traditional library holdings of books and journals, Henberg said he anticipates the Cruzen-Murray Library will include study spaces for individuals and groups, multimedia instructional rooms, public spaces for events such as poetry readings and lectures, exhibitions and a cafe.

Debbie Murray, who grew up in Idaho, has been very generous to the C of I both financially and with her time said Michael Vandervelden, vice president for college relations.

“She’s a very special person with a real passion for the College,” Vandervelden said. “Among her many contributions were providing for the interior redecoration of Blatchley Hall, built in 1910 and now on the National Register of Historic Places, and purchasing performance attire for the College’s choir.”

No timetable has been set for construction of Cruzen-Murray Library, and the project will commence after the estate is realized. Planning the building and its landscaping will be a committee chaired by Professor of History Steven Maughan and composed of librarians, faculty, students and other College staff.

“While libraries have undergone a tremendous evolution in recent years, they retain a critical role bringing members of the College together to learn and share knowledge,” Henberg said. “One of the primary strengths of The College of Idaho is our community of learning. As a small college, it is easy for our students to converse with their professors outside the classroom, as well as to engage in dialogue with classmates of diverse backgrounds and perspectives. These are the types of interactions the Cruzen-Murray Library will foster.”

Cruzen-Murray Library will be built at the entrance to the College at the intersection of 21st Street and Cleveland Boulevard.

“This location is the public gateway to campus and I am confident Cruzen-Murray Library will be a jewel for both the College and for the entire community,” Henberg said.

Murray’s estate gift comes several months after the public announcement of the College’s Advance The Legacy comprehensive campaign. Advance The Legacy ( seeks to raise $175 million by the College’s 125th anniversary in 2016.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including six Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another ten Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit