BELLEFONTE - The American Philatelic Society and American Philatelic Research Library celebrated a momentous but bittersweet milestone on Tuesday afternoon, as we closed the door on $1.5 million of debt thanks to the generosity of the late Roger Albanese. Albanese was a Life Member of the American Philatelic Research Library and a strong supporter of the library's future during his life, and we are grateful for his gifts to philately and philatelic research. From his commitment, the APRL retired two of the three mortgages on the American Philatelic Center and is on track to be free of mortgage debt within six years.
In 2016, the APRL had accumulated five mortgages with $5.4 million of debt from ten phases of building projects on the American Philatelic Center. The most recent building project, completed in October of 2016, now houses the American Philatelic Research Library, a beautiful multi-story space with over 3 miles of shelving and accessible resources for visiting researchers.
That same year, the APS and APRL Boards adopted the 2016 Joint Strategic Plan and agreed to make retiring mortgage debt a priority. The Joint Strategic Plan included a commitment to eliminate the projected 20 years of debt payments in ten years - or less.
On Tuesday, that promise became a reality when Scott English and Chief Administrative Officer Rick Banks retired two more of the remaining mortgages, leaving just one left. The retirement of four mortgages since 2016 is due in large part to the generosity of Legacy Society members like Roger Albanese and the dedicated support of APS/APRL members.
With only one mortgage left, currently valued at $2 million, the APS is well on its way to being debt-free by July 2025 at the latest.
Keep an eye out for the November 2019 issue of The American Philatelist in which APS Executive Director Scott English reflects on Roger Albanese's legacy and the new debt-free era on the horizon.
Interested in supporting the American Philatelic Society? Learn more about how you can help here.
(right) Roger Albanese was a Life Member of the American Philatelic Research Library and one of its strongest supporters. We are proud to honor his legacy and dedication to philately and philatelic research today.