Hancock Honors One Of College Library's Biggest Donors

Reading area dedicated to Lola Ardelia Dority

DorityFEBRUARY 3, 2016--After staring for a few seconds at a new plaque on a wall inside the Allan Hancock College Library, Lola Dority turned to the crowd nearby and beamed with pride. “I am so grateful for this plaque. Thank you,” said Dority. “It means the world to me.”

Dority was the guest of honor during a plaque dedication ceremony hosted by the Friends of the Allan Hancock College Library, a group that supports the library to expand its resources to students. The honor of hanging the plaque that read Lola Ardelia Dority Reading Area was given to Gregory A. Pensa and Tim Bennett, the president and vice president of the Allan Hancock College Board of Trustees. Over the years, Dority has literally filled shelves and shelves with books.

“The library has purchased thousands of books for our Lompoc and Santa Maria libraries because of Ms. Dority’s generosity over the years,” said Dean of Academic Affairs Nancy Meddings. “The college president has challenged faculty and staff to change the odds for our students to succeed. Ms. Dority is changing the odds on her own.”

Dority’s love of reading started as a little girl when her mother always made sure she had the newest Nancy Drew books. Meddings said Dority has passed on her love of reading to generations to come. The library has purchased young adult and children’s books with the donations, supplying guests with titles like those from the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series.

“Her collection is the second most popular in our libraries behind only textbooks,” said Meddings. “A few classes at the college also incorporate the collection into their coursework. Students enrolled in English as a second language, our children’s literature class, or a sociology class that studies the real meaning of fairy tales benefit from this collection.”

Dority recalled a conversation she had with Meddings years ago when she first approached the library about a donation.

“I had a dream of filling shelf after shelf after shelf with children’s books way back then. Now, I feel like my dream has come true,” said Dority.

The Lola Ardelia Dority Reading Area features several comfortable chairs and end tables near the front of the Santa Maria library.

Meddings said Dority has established an endowment to ensure continued support for the library.

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Caption: After her donations led to the purchase of thousands of young adult and children’s books for college libraries, Allan Hancock College thanks Lola Dority (right) by dedicating a reading area in the Santa Maria library. Dority and Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D. (left) posed for a picture near the plaque in the reading area.

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Last Modified Feb 4, 2016