MAY 17, 2006 | The grand opening of the UAMS Bookstore on May 5 was especially sweet for Leo Gehring, vice chancellor for Campus Operations at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).
Gehring, who celebrated the opening with about 400 other people, told the crowd gathered for the ribbon cutting that the bookstore’s existence was a credit to the contributions of many.
“The bookstore that you are seeing today for the first time was an extraordinary labor of love,” Gehring told the crowd, many of whom had a hand in its construction. “We almost didn’t have the bookstore. Construction prices were very difficult for us.”
A plan eventually came together, however, thanks to CDI Contractors, which built the building’s shell, and countless UAMS Physical Plant and Construction Management employees, he said. The UAMS Bookstore space that was in the recently imploded Jeff Banks Student Dormitory has been replaced and even expanded in the new building across
“We left behind a bookstore that we had completely outgrown that was less than 3,000 square feet, and we now have more than 4,000 square feet where we can provide a wider variety of products from magazines to stamps to books to UAMS and Razorback apparel,” Gehring said.
As the only medical bookstore in
Gehring said he envisions the bookstore one day becoming the center of campus life with new student amenities surrounding it.
“We hope to eventually have coffee and food shops and so forth,” he said. “When we open this quadrangle over here we’ll have the UAMS Quad and the bookstore is its anchor.”
The day, which included book signings by UAMS authors and door prizes worth as much as $200, was highlighted by a noon ribbon cutting, which was followed by a cake and punch reception in the bookstore.
UAMS authors signing their books included William Evans, Ph.D., of the Institute on Aging who has written AstroFit; Thomas Andreoli, M.D., professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and his CECIL Essentials of Medicine; Paulette Mehta, M.D., of the College of Medicine, and her book, “Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation,” and Bill Gurley, Ph.D., from the College of Pharmacy and his book, “I Acted from Principle,” that he co-authored with Cynthia DeHaven Pitcock, Ph.D., from the College of Medicine.
Also, bookstore patrons had the opportunity to vote on the new fragrance for Omnibalm, the skin cream Gurley invented that recently evolved into the UAMS BioVentures company OmniBalm Innovations.
Sponsors providing door prizes and samples were: Staples, Lexi Comp, Lippincott Williams, McGraw Hill, Baker and