The Class of 1955 made a significant contribution to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center in its gift for the second floor Conference Room, a heavily used teaching facility in a prominent location.
The space that houses the Conference Room, like the rest of the Library, was originally designed and built as a joint project of Penn and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As a result, it bears the imprint of a generation of cold and impersonal public architecture spawned in the 1960s and termed "neo-brutalist." The renovation of the building is intended not only to make the bricks and mortar aspect of the Library more inviting, but also to reconfigure the space more graciously to accommodate the electronic research and information technologies so integral to twenty-first century scholarship.
The renovated space is warm and attractive. The carpeted floor improves both the aesthetics and acoustics, the lighting is softer, and the furniture more practical and comfortable. The conference room has state-of-the-art multimedia capability.