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Update: ETSU Foundation commits $1M to ETSU arts initiative

May 16th, 2013 1:17 pm by Rex Barber

Update: ETSU Foundation commits $1M to ETSU arts initiative

Nearly half the $9.5 million in fundraising needed to secure state dollars for a fine and performing arts center at East Tennessee State University has now been given to the school.
The announcement was made Friday during the ETSU Foundation’s annual business meeting at The Millennium Centre that $1 million will be committed from the Foundation to go toward $9.5 million required on behalf of ETSU to receive state funding of around $27.5 million to build the arts center.
With $4 million secured, ETSU President Brian Noland pointed out that the fundraising effort for the new building is nearly at the halfway point.
The fundraising initiative for the new center, which will be named for benefactor Jim Martin and his late wife Mary, was kick-started in February with a $3 million gift from Martin. This campaign is officially called “The ETSU Arts Initiative: Enhancing Lives, Enriching Our Region.”
“Our goal is by July 1 of 2014 to raise $9.5 million as our portion of the match to build a center for the fine arts,” he said. “And we’re just extremely grateful to the Foundation for their leadership and their belief in this vision.”
In his proposed 2013-14 budget, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam gave ETSU permission to use $1.5 million to begin planning for the arts center, which is projected to cost approximately $38 million. ETSU will be required to fund 25 percent of that project, hence the $9.5 million fundraising goal.
ETSU will be able to use that $1.5 million beginning July 1.
Noland said the arts are important at ETSU but the campus lacks a central venue for performances and exhibits.
As fundraising continues, Noland said negotiations will begin to acquire what has been known as Lot 1 as a location for the new arts center. That property belongs to Bank of Tennessee and is located on land across West State of Franklin Road from the university and adjacent to Millennium Centre.
ETSU would need approval from several government agencies and its own Board of Regents to buy the property.
There are also alternative locations if needed. One such location would be on campus, which was in the school’s original master plan. But the land near Millennium Centre would be preferred because it would allow community members to use the hotel and parking garage, Noland said.
Noland hopes to have a location for the new arts center by the fall.
“It’s our intent to build the facility on that property formerly known as Lot 1,” Noland said. “We’ve stated that publicly on a number of occasions because it allows us to take advantage of everything that the Millennium Centre presents. It also allows us to be in very close proximity to Ball, Mathes and all of the elements of the arts that are on the main campus.”
According to ETSU, as part of the Arts Initiative, numerous opportunities for naming gifts have been identified, and a “Now Seating” campaign is under way. “Now Seating” allows individuals or organizations to purchase seats in a 1,400-seat concert hall, a 500-seat theater and a 250-seat recital hall within the proposed arts center. These seats may be designated in honor or memory of special individuals or in honor of a company or organization.
For more information, call the ETSU University Advancement Office at (423) 439-4242 or visit
In other business, it was announced the Foundation’s fund balance was over $106.3 million as of March 31.
Private giving this year is estimated at $13.5 million.
Richard Manahan, ETSU vice president for University Advancement and Foundation CEO/president, said that through March, the market value of the Foundation’s and university’s endowments, including the Chairs of Excellence, moved from $100.1 million to $106.6 million, for a total increase of $5.5 million, or 5.1 percent, for the current fiscal year compared to fiscal year 2011-12. Presently, there are 495 endowments in the ETSU Foundation that support scholarships and educational enhancements for students, faculty and staff.
Foundation officer elections were also announced Friday.
D. Roger Kennedy was re-elected as chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors for 2013-14, and M. Thomas Krieger, retired business executive, was re-elected as vice chair. Both are from Jonesborough. Leslie Parks Pope, chair of The Parks Group, LLC, Kingsport, is immediate past chair, and Dan Mahoney, Johnson City, is secretary.
Re-elected to serve in their same positions on the board were Dr. Steve Conerly, Management Services/Strategic Planning, Johnson City, treasurer; Donald R. Raber, president, Aldebaran Financial Inc., Kingsport, chair of the Investment Committee; Dennis T. Powell, Johnson City, chair of the Planned Giving Advisory Committee; and Wayne G. Basler, Kingsport, representing past chairs of the board.
The following were elected to serve a three-year term on the board of directors ending June 30, 2016: R.T. (Rab) Summers, Elizabethton; Loretta B. Lyle, Greeneville; Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Ronald V. Hite, Ann Mooneyhan and Guy B. Wilson Jr., Johnson City; and Raymond R. Thomas, Atlanta.
Elected to serve a second three-year term on the board of directors ending June 30, 2016, were: Richard R. Green, Sonia King and J. Dan Mahoney, Johnson City; and Dr. James Gibson and Dr. Roberta T. Herrin, Jonesborough.
Five members who are rotating off the board of directors after two consecutive three-year terms were recognized for their service: K. Newton Raff and Dennis L. Vonderfecht, Johnson City; Frederick “Pal” Barger Jr., Kingsport; Dr. Susan Gentry Williams, Nashville; and David A. Ogle, Sevierville.
The Foundation welcomed 21 new members: Sam LaPorte, Elizabethton; Bob Cantler, Bob Cooper, Dr. Rebecca Copeland, Jack Cox, Dr. Andy Czuchry, Stanley Dunbar, Jeffrey R. Dykes, Marvin Eichorn, Michael Elbers, Candace Jennings, Dr. Thomas E. Kwasigroch, John Speropulos and Dustin Walters, Johnson City; George Little, Jonesborough; Jimmy Denton and Dr. Gregory Milum Testerman, Kingsport; Pauline Douglas, Knoxville; Mike Smith, Atlanta; and Ray and Mary Ruth Gilly Baskette, Tucker, Ga.
In addition, 34 individuals renewed their membership in the Foundation through June 30, 2021: Lois Clarke, Chris Lee and Mitch Walters, Bristol; Heiskell Winstead, Bulls Gap; Joe LaPorte III, Elizabethton; Stan Puckett and Chuck Whitfield, Greeneville; Jim Baxter, Jeff Bedard, Thomas J. Burleson, Dr. Lyle Crosby, Harold Dishner, Dr. Keith Ellis, Dr. J. Scott Gentry, Chancellor G. Richard Johnson, Gary M. Mabrey III, Dr. Jay Mehta, Neil Owen, Cameron Perry, Philip Scharfstein, P.C. Snapp, J.D. Swartz and Kathryn W. Wilhoit, Johnson City; Nita Summers and Pat Wolfe, Jonesborough; Betty DeVinney, Sherry Dougherty and Wendell Kirk, Kingsport; Tim Busfield, Studio City, Calif.; Joan Dressel, Fridley, Minn.; M. Steven DeCarlo, Charlotte, N.C.; and Lynn Petrey, Hillsboro, Ore.; and Randal Greene, Kilmarnock, Va.

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