After 27 years of serving as Library Dean and one year of serving as Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Tyrone H. Cannon has retired. Dr. Shaun Calhoun, who has served as interim Library Dean since February 2020, has been officially appointed to the position.
As the first Black and openly LGBTQ+ person to hold this position at USF, Cannon has helped pave the way for diversity on campus. “During his tenure at USF he was instrumental in hiring a diverse staff, many of whom are still here today,” Calhoun said.
In his announcement of Cannon’s retirement, President Paul Fitzgerald S.J. echoed Calhoun’s praise stating, “Tyrone has been instrumental in increasing diversity, launching new careers, and elevating staff voices.”
Cannon has also worked to promote diversity and inclusion on local and national levels. Prior to his position as Library Dean, Cannon was a clinical social worker and head of the social work library at Columbia University. While serving with the American Library Association, he was a member of the Standing Council on Minority Concerns for two years. Additionally, he served as president of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) from 2003 to 2004, making him the first Black president of the organization in 30 years, and third in the organization’s 82 year history.
Cannon’s service and accomplishments were celebrated last Wednesday in the Monihan Atrium in Gleeson Library with a few speakers who shared their fondest memories of the former dean. The event attracted over 100 attendees, including Cannon’s longtime colleague, Shannon Burchard, head of collection services at the Dorraine Zief Law Library. Burchard and Cannon have worked together since 2000.
“I remember Tyrone from when I first started,” Burchard recalled. “He was always the best dressed guy in the room and had a great mug collection.”
Burchard said Cannon will be remembered for his contributions to Gleeson Library and the USF community, “The number of resources that have been added to the library to help students since he started has been immense.”
Fitzgerald stated that Cannon played a key role in the renovation of the Donohue Rare Book room as well as in dedicating the Geschke Learning Center. He also commended Cannon for reorganizing library leadership to provide efficient support services for the USF community.
According to Fitzgerald, these efforts led to the library-wide program review process and strategic plan that outlines six different goals for the future of USF in five year intervals. These five year plans aim to “invest in and promote the scholarly, creative, and community focused endeavors that advance justice and address the pressing challenges of our time.”
Reflecting on Cannon’s years of service, Calhoun said, “Tyrone is a librarian’s librarian,” he said. “He always held students at the center of library work and never forgot how critical student success is to library success.”
Jordan DelFiugo is a second-year psychology major and a general assignment reporter for the Foghorn. She can be reached at email@example.com.