MONTGOMERY - The City of Montgomery today hosted a joint press conference with Troy University to announce several new developments in the organizations' longstanding partnership.
Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange and Montgomery Campus Vice Chancellor Dr. Lance Tatum announced Barnes & Noble College Booksellers agreed to renovate and extend its presence in Whitley Hall by significantly increasing its size and seating, enhancing the atmosphere and adding a Barnes & Noble Cafe that proudly serves Starbucks Coffee.
"Troy University has been a big force behind our community's resurgence – especially downtown – for a long, long time," Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said. "In fact, Troy was downtown before being downtown was cool. We commend Troy and Barnes and Noble Booksellers for choosing to further enhance their campus and our downtown by adding a new option for food, coffee and good books."
TROY Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. said the University has had a "great relationship" with Barnes & Noble since 2005.
"This expansion will serve our students and the community well. In many ways, Troy University has anchored the development and progress in this part of downtown Montgomery, and I can't think of better partners to have than Barnes & Noble and the City of Montgomery," he said.
The Montgomery Campus bookstore was recently expanded to handle processing of all of TROY's online bookstore orders for its eTroy students, adding about 20 jobs to the five existing ones. With the Barnes & Noble Café, the expanded bookstore will nearly double in size to 6,000 square feet, and the Café will offer a variety of Starbucks coffees, teas and beverages, as well as an assortment of sandwiches, soups and snacks to students, faculty, staff and the downtown community.
In addition to increasing options for those living, working or visiting downtown Montgomery, the City thanked Troy University for its move to develop a curriculum offering advanced degrees to City of Montgomery Department of Public Safety personnel. The curriculum will include courses in fire science, fire leadership and emergency communications.
"This is just one way we can show our appreciation for the hard work and unwavering dedication the public safety department demonstrates daily," Strange said. "By expanding opportunities for those who serve and protect us each and every day, it not only demonstrates our city leadership's commitment to repaying a tremendous debt we owe these brave men and women, but the commitment of our community as a whole – from local job creators to educational leaders."
Lastly, the City of Montgomery, in coordination with the Montgomery Improvement Association and NewSouth Books Co-founder/Editor Randall Williams, released the verbiage for a historic marker to be dedicated solely to Rosa Parks during the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, set for December. Currently, the marker adjacent to the Troy University Rosa Parks Museum honors Parks on one side and local legendary troubadour Hank Williams on the other. The forthcoming marker will solely honor Parks and her role in the world changing boycott, while a separate marker will honor Williams.
Toasting with Starbucks Coffee the announcement of the expansion of the Troy University Bookstore on the Montgomery Campus is Dr. Lance Tatum, Montgomery Campus Vice Chancellor, TROY Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, Bobby Hamous, Barnes and Noble College Booksellers Regional Manager, and State Sen. Gerald Dial, President Pro-tem of the Troy University Board of Trustees. The new bookstore will feature a Barnes & Noble Café that will serve Starbucks products. (TROY photo/Kevin Glackmeyer)