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Weston Center for the Performing Arts
Construction Begins: The Caroline M. Weston Center for the Performing Arts
We marked the start of the 126th academic year in Jackson Auditorium on August 23, 2016, with more than 380 incoming freshmen, 50 transfer students, TLU faculty and staff, and some very special guests - Caroline, Grainger, Graham and Greg Weston.
Board Chairman Wes Peoples announced the beginning of construction of the Caroline M. Weston Center for the Performing Arts, and we were honored to have the project's namesake and benefactor present. We want to sincerely thank the Weston family for their generosity and support of the performing arts at TLU. Their significant contribution to making our new music facility and studio theatre a reality will benefit our current students, faculty, staff, and community for many years to come.
The construction of the expansion to Jackson Auditorium will begin over the next few months with the expectation of having TLU Dramatic Media in its new facility by August 2017 and the TLU School of Music in its two-story music facility by the end of 2017. With more than $11 million raised toward the total project cost of $15 million, our goal is to raise an additional $4 million over the next year to complete the funding.
Please join me in extending our sincere gratitude to the Weston family as well as the following donors who have each contributed gifts of $1 million or more to the project: Bob and Karin Oliver, the Dian Graves Owen Foundation, Barbara and Marvin Rush/Rush Enterprises, the estate of Werner Teggemann '35, and the estate of John A. Jackson.
Weston Family Supports Performing Arts Center with $5 Million
In December 2014, TLU sold a financial asset previously gifted to the university by Mr. Grainger Weston. This asset appreciated substantially and $5 million of the proceeds are dedicated to constructing new facilities for TLU’s music and dramatic media programs. His generous support—in honor of Mrs. Caroline M. Weston and her lifelong love of the performing arts—is the foundation of the funding campaign for the Caroline M. Weston Center for the Performing Arts. Mrs. Weston’s son, Graham Weston, is cofounder and chairman of the board of San Antonio-based Rackspace, a former regent, and longtime supporter of TLU.
Bob and Karin Oliver Donate $1.5 Million for New Performing Arts Center
In 2015, Board of Regents member Bob Oliver, and his wife Karin, pledged $1.5 million toward the Caroline M. Weston Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to their gift, the Olivers will dedicate the new choir rehearsal room to Dr. Sigurd Christiansen—former director of the TLU choir for 29 years. The Olivers will also honor their special needs nephew Matthew Murray with a plaque in the nursing building recognizing the nurses whose care has sustained him for more than 20 years. “My wife, Karin, and I are so pleased to be able to contribute to the new Caroline M. Weston Center for the Performing Arts and the future expansion of the nursing facilities,” Oliver said. “Karin and I actually met singing in our college choir, and we have sung together in choirs at church and in the community ever since. We hope others will look at how TLU shaped their lives and give serious consideration to stepping up and supporting the new programs, facilities and plans for the university. Together we can use our resources to raise the ceiling of TLU’s potential and ensure for years to come that life-changing experiences continue to be created for all those who attend TLU.” Rick Roberts, TLU vice president for development and alumni relations, said the university is grateful for the Olivers’ continued support. “This gift is not only a sign of their generous nature but also strongly shows their commitment to the arts, which is a critical element at TLU,” said Roberts. “This will enable TLU to move forward with the fundraising campaign for the Caroline M. Weston Center for the Performing Arts so future generations of TLU music and theatre students can enjoy first-rate facilities.”