Donation to library to honor Virginia Gibbs Smyth

The Huntsville Item reports the funding of "The Gathering Place" at the renovated and expanded Huntsville public library in memory of Virginia Gibbs Smyth:
The donation was by Mrs. Smyth’s children, Joseph P. Smyth, Mary Katherine Smyth Basquin, Virginia Smyth Low, and the First National Bank of Huntsville. The Gathering Place will be exactly what the name implies, a place where people come together near the front of the library and will be a focal point in our new space. Virginia Gibbs Smyth was the eldest child of Dr. James Philip Gibbs and Mary McAshan Gibbs. She was the great granddaughter of Sam Houston State College’s (now SHSU) second president, H.H. Smith.

During her long and generous life, Mrs. Smyth made many contributions to educational and children’s programs in Huntsville. She furnished the children’s reading room in the original public library in memory of her sister Sarah and gave a valuable ornithology collection to the library in memory of her father. SHSU has several scholarships within the College of Criminal Justice, the English department, and Journalism division given by Mrs. Smyth in memory of her parents and brother James Philip Gibbs Jr. An endowment in the Library Sciences division was established in her name by her son. In spite of the many years she spent in New York City, Mrs. Smyth never forgot her heritage in Huntsville. The Huntsville Public Library Friends are thrilled to be able to place the name of Virginia Gibbs Smyth in a central place within the library and the city which meant so much to her thanks to her children and the First National Bank of Huntsville’s gift of $20,000.


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