William ’76 and Jane ’75 Mosakowski are honored for gift to Goddard Library collections

April 23, 2013

Libraries are typically quiet places, reserved for study and reflection.

But for a brief moment on April 15, inside the Robert H. Goddard Library, the golden rule was heartily ignored as members of the Clark University staff and faculty broke into applause to honor William '76 and Jane '75 Mosakowski for their significant contributions to the library's collections.

President David Angel noted that the Mosakowskis committed the resources to augment the collections during planning for the Academic Commons construction. "Bill and Jane sort of whispered in my ear that if we're going to have a great facility, we need to be sure we have an exceptional collection," he said.

President Angel said that while the library's resources were traditionally strong, they've needed updating in recent years. The robust collections funded by the Mosakowskis are particularly important as Clark hires new faculty and develops new areas of study and research, he said. Angel thanked the Clark couple for their "generous commitment to help us not just with the facilities, but also with the collections. We're forever grateful to the two of you for doing that."

Also offering words of thanks were Deborah Robertson, professor of biology, and Ashley Belcher, a graduate student in the International Development and Social Change program.

President Angel then proceeded to unveil a plaque near the second-floor circulation desk that honors The Mosakowski Family Foundation for its generous support of the library's collections.

In his remarks following the unveiling, Bill Mosakowski recalled that as the plans for the Academic Commons were being drafted, he and Jane discussed the importance of having collections as impressive as the facility that housed them.

"A great research university needs to have a great library, one that not only allows you to find the things you're looking for, but also a library that allows you to find the things you weren't looking for. I think we've taken a step in that direction," he said.

Jane Mosakowski, who worked in the library as a Clark student in the 1970s, hugged her former boss, Irene Walch, who is head of reference services at the library.

"For me, this is a very personal experience," she said, noting that after graduating from Clark she obtained a degree from Simmons College and worked in the library science field.

"It's so nice to see this come full circle, and to see how much the library has grown. Thank you so much for this recognition and honor," she said.

Bill's mother, Dorothy Mosakowski, who worked for many years in the Goddard Library, was also on hand for the plaque presentation.

Prior to the unveiling, University Librarian Gwen Arthur made a presentation to the Mosakowkis and others in the Wilson Rare Book Room, noting that their support cannot be overstated as the library builds collections in new and evolving disciplines. Among the dramatic enhancements the Mosakowski funding has provided is the enviable number of electronic resources that students and faculty can access online wherever they might be, she said.

From there, selected faculty and students met with the Mosakowskis in the Fuller Conference Room to offer examples of how the Goddard Library collections have contributed to their research.

The day ended with a reception in the Mosakowski Institute, located on the first floor of Goddard, and tours of the Rare Book Room.