Newell, '77, Provides Gift for Center for Teaching and Learning
ALBION, Mich.—Innovative approaches to teaching with technology will be at the forefront in a new Center for Teaching and Learning at Albion College. The center, planned as part of the current Stockwell Library renovation campaign, has been underwritten by a gift from Albion College trustee Mark Newell, '77. In addition to Newell's personal contribution, support for this project comes from donations made by his partners in honor of his December 2011 retirement from the international law firm of Latham & Watkins.
"Albion College's faculty are recognized leaders in the creative uses of technology in their teaching," said President Donna Randall. "Mark Newell's gift will allow us to develop and equip a new space in the library devoted to this endeavor. The enhanced learning experiences made possible by the Center for Teaching and Learning will add immeasurably to our students' education. This new center also reflects Albion's commitment to providing our students with the knowledge and skills so much in demand in our technology-dependent world."
Randall continued, "The College is deeply grateful for this gift as it not only reflects the high esteem in which Mark is held by his colleagues, but also his dedication to Albion as an outstanding trustee and alumnus."
The Newell Center for Teaching and Learning will encourage faculty to test advanced systems and software for use in teaching and further develop their expertise with the new technologies available. They can then determine how these technologies can be incorporated effectively into their teaching.
Working in Latham & Watkins’ Washington, D.C. office throughout his 28-year career, Newell specialized in complex business litigation. He became a member of the firm's executive committee in 1999 and three years later was elected vice chairman and chief operating partner, a position he held until just before his retirement. He was the third member of his family to attend Albion, preceded by his mother, Janet Albaugh Newell, '53, and his sister, Nancy Newell, '75. After graduating from Albion, he earned both a J.D. degree and a master’s in public policy from Harvard University. Prior to entering the practice of law, Newell served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. from 1982 to 1983. He currently is serving as general counsel of the United States Golf Association (USGA). At Albion, he chairs the Academic and Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.
"As a board member, I was aware of the current focus on key infrastructure projects, including the library, and how important those will be for students and for the future of the College," Newell said. "This is a great project—taking the old-fashioned approach to a library and turning it into something that is more up-to-date and useful for the longer term. Others have committed major support to other parts of the library, and I'm just happy to be able to help as well."
The Stockwell Library renovation project began in 2011 with the installation of the Cutler Commons on the building's main floor. Fundraising for Phase II of the project is now under way and will provide technology tools for teaching and learning, along with new spaces for study and research. Other recent gifts will support the creation of the John S. Ludington Career and Internship Center on the library’s lower level, which will become the home for the College’s Career Development Office.
"Albion's Center for Teaching and Learning grew from a faculty initiative," Provost Susan Conner said. "It is wonderful to see it grow further from a 'virtual' presence on campus to a space of its own. Faculty will have teaching resources available, a space in which they can experiment with new techniques, and a focal point for great shared conversations."