September 24, 2022
By Blake Fry
No one was more surprised by the recent unveiling of the Fred Grogan Little Free Library at the Metropolitan Community College-Longview campus than Grogan himself.
Grogan, a Lee’s Summit community leader who served as Longview president from 1998-2013, knew a tiny library was going up off the circle drive at the campus entrance. What he didn’t know was that it would bear his name.
That detail was revealed — along with the “Take a Book, Leave a Book” library itself — at an Aug. 22 ceremony attended by Grogan, fellow members of the Rotary Club of Lee’s Summit, students in the campus Rotaract Club, and Longview faculty, staff and retirees.
“It was a pleasure to honor Dr. Grogan, and what better way than to recognize his contributions to Longview as well as to the Lee’s Summit community and Rotary,” said current MCC-Longview President Kathrine Swanson. “Dr. Grogan’s leadership style was one that supported innovation, excellence, commitment to students and service to the community.”
Along with the library unveiling, the campus also announced the Fred Grogan Cultural Arts Scholarship Endowment, which will support Longview students studying art, music, theater and creative writing.
The Rotary Club of Lee’s Summit has also sponsored Little Free Libraries at Lea McKeighan Park South and Hillcrest Transitional Housing, and will soon have one at Underwood Elementary. Rotary works with Dave Eames of Fossil Forge in Lee’s Summit on design and construction of the libraries.
Student members of the campus Rotaract Club have already stocked the new little library and will maintain it.
During Grogan’s 15-year tenure as MCC-Longview president, he oversaw the construction of the Cultural Arts Center on campus and came up with the idea of hosting a kite festival at Longview (Flights of Fancy, which continues annually). A big national honor came in 2001, when MCC-Longview was recognized as a “College of the Year” by Time magazine and the Princeton Review for its Writing Across the Curriculum program.