Casey Grier 08
Sarah M. Reesor 09
Casey Grier 08
On March 7, Southwestern celebrated the recent renovation of the Alma Thomas Fine Arts Center and the presentation of the Presidents Philanthropy Award to Fayez S. Sarofim. Sarofims son, Christopher, attended the celebration and accepted the award on his fathers behalf.
The Presidents Philanthropy Award was established to recognize an individual, family or organization whose contributions have transformed Southwestern University, its students and its faculty. Previous recipients of the award include the Cullen family of Houston, The Brown Foundation Inc., and Red and Charline McCombs of San Antonio.
Fayez S. Sarofims tradition of service to Southwestern began in 1968, when his Houston-based investment firm, Fayez Sarofim & Company, began managing portions of Southwesterns endowment. Over the years, Sarofim has made more than $15 million in donations, giving Southwestern its first fine arts gallery, additional music studios and classrooms, much-needed studios for painting and drawing, and most recently, funding the multi-million dollar renovation to the Alma Thomas Fine Arts Center. In honor of his support of the arts, Southwestern renamed its school of fine arts in 1999.
In addition, Southwestern has established the Fayez Sarofim Passion for the Arts Award, to be given annually to a graduating senior who exhibits a passion for the arts in their life or work, regardless of major. This years recipient was Senior Allison Kuo 08, who is completing a major in studio arts with a minor in art history.
In addition to supporting the arts, Sarofim has made regular contributions to Southwesterns annual fund (now called The Southwestern Fund), which supports priority needs on campus such as scholarships, faculty development, library resources, and technology improvements.
Few persons in Southwesterns storied history have had the impact Fayez Sarofim has had, says President Jake B. Schrum 68. Through his management of much of Southwesterns endowment as well as his philanthropy, he has played a major part in Southwesterns transformation from a good regional liberal arts college to a peer of many of the best national liberal arts colleges in America.
Nick Simonite 07
The many new features of the renovated Alma Thomas Theater were on display in March as Southwestern staged a performance of the timeless musical Fiddler on the Roof.
New rigging allowed heavy sets to be dropped down from the ceiling, and the orchestra was able to perform for the first time in a real orchestra pit.
Students began working on the set, costumes, lighting and props for the performance in mid-January. Some of the backdrops for the set were two stories high, and were built and painted by approximately 20 students working nearly around the clock in the final weeks before the show.
Students performed to a packed house all four nights of the production. They also performed the opening song from the musical, Tradition, at the March 7 dedication ceremony for the new theater. Welcoming audiences, faculty, staff and students back into the Alma Thomas Theater, Paul Gaffney, dean of The Sarofim School of Fine Arts said, Its good to be home.