Langley, British Columbia—David Twiest received a tribute he never expected at Trinity Western University’s graduation ceremonies this year. Twiest, director of libraries at TWU, earned an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from the University for his 31 years of service.
“I was quite humbled by the experience,” says Twiest, who will retire this coming December. “It’s a recognition I didn’t expect, but I’m very grateful to be recognized by all of my colleagues in this way.”
The library director, well-loved by faculty, staff and students, came to TWU in 1971 while the institute was still a junior college.
“I signed the contract sight unseen,” explains Twiest, who was working at a college in Colorado at the time.
“There wasn’t much here,” he laughs as he recalls his first steps onto campus. “There were about 275 students and our library had around 9,000 volumes.”
Twiest’s hard work in developing the library helped contribute to Trinity Western gaining university status in 1985. He then laid the groundwork for the design of TWU’s current Norma Marion Alloway Library building, built in 1989, which today houses 212,000 volumes.
“We’ve made a lot of progress,” comments Twiest of the University, which now has more than 3,000 students and 15,000 alumni worldwide. “I think we occupy a unique role in Canadian higher education, and that’s rewarding.”
Over the years, Twiest has also served on a number of professional associations including the Association of Christian Librarians, the Council of Post Secondary Library Directors of British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest Library Association and the B.C. Library Association. And while 31 years may seem like a long time to work in an organization, Twiest has always felt at home at TWU.
“Being here has never been a job for me,” he admits. “It’s always been more than a job. It’s been a commitment that has helped me keep focused on where I need to be going personally and where I think we should be going as a library and as a university. The work has been enjoyable because I’ve experienced the support of my colleagues, friends and my wife, Carolyn.”
When he retires in December, Twiest will remain in the Lower Mainland with his wife and family and plans to stay active.
“I’ve been involved with library consultation as well as library planning and have helped with a number of buildings,” he says. “I’ll continue to do that and then volunteer work.”
“Everyone tells me I’ll be busy,” he adds, with a bit of a chuckle. “I don’t mind that at all.”
Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a privately funded Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,000 students this year. With a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 34 major areas ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.
Last Updated: 2007-09-26