Elizabeth Dayton, the widow of a Denver lawyer for the past 42 years, had no former associations with Regis College. It was a complete surprise when her lawyer, Marmaduke Holt, informed President Ryan that her will bequeathed Regis money because she was impressed with the “vitality” of this little college. She died March 12, 1963, and the bequest turned out to be $850,000. It vitalized a 3-year fund drive begun in 1962 by Fr. Ryan to build a science building and a library, and was the largest bequest at that time in the history of Regis. The will stated that the money could be used in any way the trustees saw fit. (Stansell, 179-180).
Construction of both the science building and the library began in 1965. The library opened in 1966 and was named The Dayton Memorial Library in honor of Mr. & Mrs. Dayton. The entirety of her bequest, however, was not used for the library’s construction but as an endowment for Regis College. (Brockway, 9, 21).
The Library was dedicated on March 17, 1967. View a photo album with photos from the dedication and early days of the Dayton Memorial Library.
Brockway, Ronald. Regis: Beyond the Crest. Denver: Regis University, 2003. Print.
Stansell, Howard L. Regis on the Crest of the West. Denver: Regis Educational Corp., 1977. Print.