On April 16, 2012, Orange County Library System received the largest single private gift in its history when benefactor Kendrick B. Melrose donated $1 million in memory of his mother, Dorothy Lumley Melrose. The gift was used to enact the construction of The Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center for Technology, Innovation & Creativity, a space that offers a new spectrum of innovative services to library customers.
On May 3, 2020, Ken Melrose passed away at the age of 79. The former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Toro Co. will be remembered fondly for his lifetime of philanthropic work that was not simply limited to his contribution to Orange County Library System. Throughout the years he supported many charitable causes through the Melrose Family Foundation including sustainability programs and a center for the treatment and care of eating disorders in Minnesota.
In 1995, Mr. Melrose published Making the Grass Greener on Your Side which shared his innovative management philosophy of leading by serving. The book, which includes a foreword by Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People), can be found in the library’s collections.
The Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center will continue to serve as a testament to Mr. Melrose’s public-spirited generosity. Every day the center provides customers opportunities to inspire and invigorate creativity and accomplishment, through The Melrose Center’s various production studios, fabrication labs, classes and events.
To learn more about Kendrick B. Melrose, his mother Dorothy Lumley Melrose or the founding of The Melrose Center, visit Orlando Memory.