By Dirk Moore
A new arts center and major enhancements to the Emory & Henry athletic stadium in honor of the late Fred Selfe are the targets of a $16.5 million fund-raising effort recently begun by the college.
The new E&H Center for the Arts, expected to cost approximately $12 million, would include a large performance hall, a black box theater, rehearsal rooms, exhibit space, a three-dimensional art classroom, office space, and theatre storage areas. The facility is considered the next step in the strong growth of E&H visual and performing arts programs that have attracted increasing numbers of talented students, requiring larger and more up-to-date facilities than what is currently available on the campus.
The Fred Selfe Athletic Stadium, which honors a football coach and athletic director who died in 2003, would include enhancements to Fullerton Field and surrounding area, including a new field house, an improved press box, artificial turf, lighting, an expanded visitors’ section, and a new entrance gate.
The $4.5 million improvements would provide expanded use of the football field for football, baseball and soccer practices and for football and soccer competitions.
These are important projects that address some long-standing needs while helping to position this institution to appeal to the broad interests of prospective students,” said E&H President Rosalind Reichard.
In recent years, the visual and performing arts and athletics programs have provided two of the college’s most reliable pipelines to prospective students. Through investment in these two areas, E&H officials expect to accentuate some important college strengths and eventually to build on the growth of these programs to enhance other areas of the institution, officials said.
The two projects have value to large numbers of alumni, including former students who have participated in the college’s renowned choral program and others touched by Selfe’s life and work. Both projects also will provide additional opportunities for community members to benefit from attending arts and athletics performances at the college.
The completion of these projects entails much more than building facilities and attracting students,” Reichard said. “They are symbols to the important legacies of many individuals who have helped define this institution.”