Donation funds new arts building on campus

KACI PARKER
Community Editor

In the months ahead, there will be a new fine arts building striking up conversations across campus. Students, faculty, and staff will appreciate the generous gift of $5 million from the Goode family, which is helping to fund the construction of the building.
“This extraordinary gift from the Goode family has electrified the campus community about the possibilities for this building as a new center for learning and creative expression,” said Mita Vail, vice president of college advancement.
With this donation toward the fine arts building, our campus community will soon be prepared to display its talented individuals and attract new students, faculty and staff to the department.
“This donation allows for a new face that better reflects the work that our students, faculty and staff are already doing,” said Michael Trotta, assistant professor of music and director of choral music. “It will allow for the arts programs to continue to grow and will provide valuable classroom spaces and a new theater that will act as an artistic hub for the Hampton Roads.”
It is believed that the building, which will be in a prime location on campus, could be used in a multitude of ways in the near future.
“I see the new Creative Arts building as an epicenter for the very best that our campus has to offer. Not just in the arts, but as a center for gathering, learning, inspiring, and performing,” said Trotta.
The campus community cannot express their excitement or their appreciation to the Goode family for the new fine arts building.
“I felt enormous gratitude to the Goode family for their commitment to Virginia Wesleyan and the arts,” said Vail. “As Mrs. Goode said in announcing the gift, ‘We believe the arts are vital to a liberal arts education and for our nation’s future. We hope this building will support and energize Virginia Wesleyan’s commitment to the liberal arts. Our family is very pleased to be able to make this gift and challenge others to do the same.”
Students have been involved in the planning process for the upcoming construction of this building to ensure that any concerns or ideas students may have are made known to the administration and to the architect.
“The students are so excited; they have become part of the planning and creation process. The faculty and architects are working together with students to make sure that their vision is part of the final project,” said Trotta.
It is important for the students to have a voice on campus, and the fact that their involvement is welcomed is of great benefit to the campus community.
“Our architect, faculty, and college leadership are committed to ensuring that our students’ ideas are reflected in the work spaces and gathering spaces being planned. The excitement and energy with which they have approached this assignment has been great,” said Vail.
Our campus has an active student body, and their opinions of this addition to campus are all positive.
Some aspects unique to the building will further arts education as well as extracurricular involvement campus- wide, which makes the new fine arts building all the more valuable to students.
“This building is important, because it will bring our terrific theater, fine arts and music programs together in a new state-of-the art facility that will enhance our students’ educational experiences. For example, the building will include a 450-seat theater that can be used for lectures, films and a gathering space for larger groups and individual classes,” said Vail.
As of now, there is no specific date for breaking ground on this project, but in the near future our campus will be overjoyed to welcome the opening of the new fine arts building.
“The construction timetable for the building will be decided in the months ahead. The architects are still developing the design. The construction company is being hired and, of course, the funds will have to be raised. Stay tuned!” said Vail. “This new building will have a tremendous impact not only on the arts at VWC but on the vitality of the College for decades to come.”

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