Celebrating 30 years of the Kennedy Library

From Kennedy Library’s 2011 Annual Publication (15.54 MB)

The Cal Poly campus changed dramatically in 1981 with the addition of the five-story Robert E. Kennedy Library, which replaced the older and smaller Dexter Library (1949-1980).

The new library was named after Cal Poly President- Emeritus Robert E. Kennedy, who spearheaded the effort to bring a new library to the Cal Poly campus. Having held library administrative responsibilities from 1943-1947, President Kennedy recognized the importance of a larger and more comprehensive library.

At the library dedication ceremony on Thursday, April 2, 1981, past and present Cal Poly presidents Kennedy and Warren J. Baker spoke in front of a crowd of Cal Poly students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

"I have high hopes that under the able administrative guidance of President Warren Baker, the reputation of Cal Poly will be further enhanced, and it will become a truly great University and a great University Library."
— Robert E. Kennedy, dedication of the Kennedy Library, 1981.

Kennedy remarked that the dedication day was "a special day to recognize the essential function of a library in the educational process, whether it be a little struggling school as Cal Poly was in 1940 or a university with a great reputation—as Cal Poly is today."

photo of the magazine spread for this story