Room for improvement

The restored former office fo the late President Thornwell Jacobs

Anybody remember Room 101 in Hearst? Didn’t think so. It was a kind of hybrid, not really a classroom, sort of a seminar room, sometimes used for food spreads for things like Parents’ Weekend and OU Passport.  It was also the former office of the late OU President Thornwell Jacobs.

It was Thornwell Jacob’s vision that returned the campus to the Atlanta area. Carrie Lee Henderson, Jacobs’ granddaughter, provided the initial inspiration for reconnecting to her father’s tenure as president at Oglethorpe University (1915-1943). But leave it to those folks in the library to grab a nugget of history and spin a vision around it.

Library Director Anne Salter proposed taking the room back to its former glory, to the days in the first half of the 20th Century when Jacobs sat behind a big desk and ran Oglethorpe University with great aplomb.

The goal was to complete the work and outfit the room as an archival museum filled with photos, memorabilia and historic timelines before Alumni Weekend in April. All systems were go: demolish a fake wall that covered the beautiful leaded glass doors from the inside; repair and replace broken crown mould along the ceiling; pull up the carpet squares that had been glued to the original hardwood floors; replace broken panes in the windows; repair the transom over the door and remove glue from the fireplace hearth and add a final touch – a fresh coat of warm, buttery paint.

Thornwell Jacobs

Much of the electrical was rewired in the process, too; an old air conditioning unit was removed and granite blocks seamlessly filled the gap. The restoration was completed, and the room is a warm treasure trove to explore and enjoy. Please make a point to visit!