The new Julie and John Kime Library Resource Center for students and faculty officially opened Monday, Nov. 14 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Palm Beach State College’s Loxahatchee Groves campus.
The center, located on the third floor of the administration building, was made possible through a generous gift from PBSC alumni and philanthropists Julie and John Kime.
The new facility features personal computer and study spaces, a kiosk for students to access course materials using their PantherCard and a pin number, books, laptops, calculators, iPads and Magic Leap goggles. The library was previously located in a shared space with the Student Learning Center on the first floor.
“We are very thankful for Julie and John. You epitomize true partnership,” said Carolyn Williams, chair of PBSC’s board of trustees, during the ceremony. “We appreciate you trusting and believing in the institution and creating a legacy at the Loxahatchee Groves campus. The students will benefit from your contribution and dedication.”
Those who also spoke at the event were Kimberly Lancaster, dean of academic affairs for the Loxahatchee Groves and Belle Glade campuses, who gave opening and closing remarks; PBSC President Ava L. Parker, who introduced elected officials; and David Rutherford, vice president of institutional advancement and CEO of the Foundation for Palm Beach State College, who introduced the Kimes.
Also attending from the community were: Mary Lou Bedford, CEO of the Central Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce; Scott Sweigart, president of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce; Maria Antuña, CEO of the Palm Beach County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Richard Myerson, principal of Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School; Jodi and Allen Gast of Gast Construction Group; and Connie Deaton, owner of Grid-One Electrical Construction.
“This is a beautiful campus and building, but the thing that strikes me the most is the people behind this college,” John Kime said. “Julie and I truly feel like we belong to the PBSC family, and we thank you for coming today.”
A longtime Wellington business owner, Julie Kime, with the support of her husband, has dedicated herself to those in need, giving back to local organizations, supporting equity, diversity and at-risk youth, and providing resources and access to education. She is a PBSC scholarship donor and serves as a board member for the Foundation for Palm Beach State College. She won a PBSC 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award in the alumni category for her philanthropic work.
Parker, who also thanked the couple, gave a brief overview of the history of the campus and recognized Loxahatchee Groves Mayor Robert Shorr, Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig and the Westlake Mayor JohnPaul O’Connor, who were all in attendance.
“Thank you so much for being with us here, believing in us and trusting us to be a part of this community,” Parker said. “If you had not chosen to support us, we would have never made it this far.”
Also present were many PBSC staff, faculty and administrators, including Associate Professor Catherine Montero.
“As a faculty member, I have an even greater respect for libraries because they help me expose my students to these new ideas and to use research to challenge those ideas in new ways,” Montero said. “Thank you for providing our students with this cozy place where they can connect with technology, collaborate and come up with these next great ideas that could one day change the world or even our communities.”
Maria Rivera, a student employee, spoke about the importance of the library in elevating the student experience. “This space will allow students to hang outside of class and still be engaged in their homework while also having a social life, which is very hard to do as a college student,” she said. “Many students, especially in college, can’t afford the material that they need for their classes, and this library gives them and myself the opportunity to get them.”
For more information on the PBSC Loxahatchee Groves campus, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/locations/loxahatchee.