On September 27, 2007, the Rock Valley College Library was officially renamed in honor of Estelle M. Black. A founding employee at the RVC Library in the mid-1960s, Estelle M. Black was Assistant Executive Director for the Rockford Public Library for 19 years.
Whatever success I’ve had professionally and personally is founded in the support and mentoring of Estelle M. Black”, said LoRayne Logan, President of workplace, inc. a Rockford staffing company. That friendship inspired the businesswoman and civic leader to make a very generous gift to the Rock Valley College Foundation in support of naming the Rock Valley College Library for Mrs. Black.
Ms. Logan’s $200,000 commitment to the Foundation’s half million dollar campaign for the naming rights is in honor of a woman whom, she says, “Took me under her wing and from her quiet strength and consummate professionalism saw me through many challenges.”
A founding employee at the RVC Library in the mid-1960s, Estelle M. Black was Assistant Executive Director for the Rockford Public Library for 19 years. Her involvement in numerous professional and civic organizations and projects includes first African-American elected President of the Illinois Library Association; founding member of Rockford Network; Athena Award winner; a founder, President and member of Taus Service Club, leading scholarship fundraising for African-American women; and advisor, volunteer or board member for Junior League of Rockford, Visiting Nurses Association, United Way, Crime Stoppers, RVC Education Resource Center and Northern Illinois Public Radio, to name just a few.
Mrs. Black was humbled by the honor, saying, “I am still awed by the magnitude of this wonderful gift of love and kindness that has been bestowed upon me by Rock Valley College. The great generosity of my friend LoRayne Logan is overwhelming to me. My faith in being kind, in sharing and in truly giving of oneself has been renewed once again. I have had much joy in my years of work in the library field and I am so pleased that that joy will be shared with the students and friends of Rock Valley College”.
The naming was a very special addition to the $7.5 million remodeling of the RVC Educational Resource Center, which houses the library, and was completed in late summer 2007.
While it is Mrs. Black’s impact on her life that prompted LoRayne Logan to make the gift, the RVC Foundation member also hopes it will encourage others to reflect on honoring the people who influence us. “Actions do matter. We need to share and offer what we can to make a difference”, says Logan.
Left to right: Former Director of the RVC Foundation Suzanne Berger, Estelle M. Black, LoRayne Logan, Lee Ann Gustafson at the 2007 dedication for the naming of the Estelle M. Black Library at Rock Valley College.