Elon parents make a $5 million gift to establish premier learning center
The generous gift from Robert and Dilek Koenigsberger P’17, of Greenwich, Connecticut, will bring academic advising and related services together in the new Koenigsberger Learning Center as part of an expanded Belk Library.
The new two-story, 11,000-square-foot Koenigsberger Learning Center will be located on the east side of the Carol Grotnes Belk Library, bringing the offices of academic advising, tutoring and disabilities resources under one roof for the first time to serve all Elon students.
Locating the Koenigsberger Learning Center in Belk Library will promote powerful synergies between these academic programs and the many resources in the library, creating a dynamic learning commons that includes the Center for Writing Excellence, Teaching and Learning Technologies and a staff of research librarians that support students’ evolving educational needs.
“We are grateful to Robert and Dilek for this very generous gift, which will assist all Elon students in their educational journeys,” said President Leo M. Lambert. “Strategically placing the Koenigsberger Learning Center in Belk Library will allow all students to reach their full academic potential and will send a powerful message about Elon’s commitment to student success. Our entire community is indebted to the Koenigsberger family for helping to prepare outstanding Elon students to lead our future.”
Robert and Dilek Koenigsberger are parents of Amber Koenigsberger, a member of Elon’s Class of 2017. The couple said they were inspired to make their gift to enable each student to take full advantage of everything Elon has to offer.
“We are honored to partner with Elon to establish the Koenigsberger Learning Center to ensure that engaged learning opportunities can be anchored in one centralized center with optimal access for the entire Elon community,” Robert Koenigsberger said.
The Koenigsberger Learning Center will be located in close proximity to the Inman Admissions Welcome Center and the Student Professional Development Center, demonstrating Elon’s commitment to ensuring student success from the moment they enroll to the day they graduate.
Approximately $2.5 million of the couple’s gift will support construction of the Koenigsberger Learning Center, which will more than double the current space for these programs and allow Elon to serve additional students. The remaining $2.5 million will be held in an endowment to fund annual operations of the center, including new staff positions and technology resources.
Like many colleges and universities nationwide, Elon has seen a dramatic increase in requests for academic support resources as more students seek out these programs as part of their intellectual and professional development. The Office of Academic Advising alone averages nearly 2,000 face-to-face visits with students each year as they prepare to choose a major and progress to graduation.
Currently, academic advising and disabilities resources are housed in Duke Building, while tutoring services are located in Belk Library. The Koenigsberger Learning Center will provide ease of access to all these programs for thousands of students who use Belk Library each week.
“We are honored by the Koenigsberger family’s gift and gratified by their support for a quality education for all students by investing in academic resources,” said Becky Olive-Taylor, associate dean of academic support. “Having The Koenigsberger Learning Center in Belk Library and close to career services will create a stellar service delivery model and help students be even more successful. It really is what seamless learning is all about, creating spaces around the campus that support a strong academic climate.”
All students utilize academic advising throughout their Elon careers and use Belk Library to study, conduct research and work on group projects, Olive-Taylor noted.
“The Koenigsberger Learning Center will make referring students to different resources a matter of a few steps down the hall instead of across campus,” Olive-Taylor said. “This is another example of Elon being a best-value institution in terms of creating learning resources for students that meet them wherever they are and advance their learning.”
“This new Center will give us the space to embody the kind of engaged learning that we facilitate at Elon,” said Joan Ruelle, dean and university librarian. “It’s going to double down on the notion that Belk Library is the academic heart of the residential campus and how we want to facilitate academic engagement and student success.”
Elon is leading the way by locating The Koenigsberger Learning Center in the library, Ruelle added.
“A lot of collegiate libraries have tenants who occupy spaces,” Ruelle said. “I haven’t seen any institution with this variety of partners in a library who have shared, permeable spaces to enhance learning. What Elon is doing is really innovative. Having those shared spaces reinforces to students that everyone at the university is invested in their success.”
The Koenigsberger Learning Center will include an assistive technology lab, a conference room for staff and families to discuss student academic needs and 18 new testing rooms that will be available for students to study or work on group projects in the evenings. Construction on the center is scheduled to begin in late August and be completed by fall 2018.