The cake was white with big blue fondant numbers that read “40” at the celebration of Stone Writing Center’s 40th anniversary. Del Mar students, faculty and staff sang “Happy Birthday” at the celebration, which took place Oct. 18 on the fourth floor of the William F. White Library. In 1976 Del Mar was the first U.S. college to establish an English Learning Lab.
Virginia Stone dreamed of providing students with the lab to access the help they needed. The center has grown from a single-room lab to a whole floor that provides not only state-of-the-art resources but also the tools in which to help students succeed. Stone’s daughter, Kay Stone Land, spoke on behalf of her mother’s work just before cutting the cake. “She had a vision and it’s just lovely to see this carried out,” Stone Land said.
President Mark Escamilla recounted the times that he spent in the learning center when he attended Del Mar, joking on how long ago it had been since he had attended.
“She recognized long before I was a student here, that we need a little help here, we need a little nudge, we need a little extra time behind the screen or on paper,” he said. “But the Stone Writing Center was a place that changed my life, here at Del Mar College made me more successful, made me more confident as a student. I am forever grateful for the work of Dr. Stone.” As he brought the event to a close, Escamilla thanked faculty and staff for their work to make the Stone Writing Center the success that it is.
Laurie Jones, assistant instructor for the center, touted the services available. “We’re able to offer a greater array of services and so they can absolutely come in and get help with their writing, but there is also technology now that can help them do presentations,” Jones said.