Warren and Mary Ober Study Rooms


If you have visited the 10th floor of the Dana Porter Library in the last 5 months, you will have noticed the following addition to the otherwise unchanging tableau of shelves, books, fluorescent lights, and gun-slit windows:

Warren Ober, of course, has been part of the UW English community since 1965. Thanks to a generous donation from Professor Ober and his wife, Mary, these two study rooms opened in April 2012 after several months of construction.

As well as comfortable chairs and tables, the rooms feature aesthetically pleasing,  smile-producing glass panel wallboards.

A study group of Economics students was gathered in one of the rooms over the exam period. What did they think of the glass boards? “They’re amazing,” said one. “Way better than chalk,” added another. Are they even better than whiteboards? “Whiteboards basically suck,” all agreed. “Somebody always uses, like, the wrong kind of marker and it stays on there. With these you can’t do that. They’re really great.”

The students wondered who Warren Ober was. Would it surprise them to learn that Warren Ober was twice chair of the English department, a scholar of Romantic poetry, and a recipient of a Distinguished Teaching Award. “No, that seems about right,” said one. “That’s the kind of professor you have to name rooms and buildings after.” How about the fact that Professor Ober was a junior officer in the US Naval Reserve during Word War Two, and that he has written extensively on the enigma of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor?

“That’s wild,” said a student. “That is so cool. That was such a long time ago.”

Want to know more about Warren Ober?

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One response to “Warren and Mary Ober Study Rooms

  1. What a great student-centred gift from the Obers! Many thanks to them–and here’s hoping some English students find their way there too!

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