$7 Million Gift to Create Performing Arts Center

$7 million gift from an anonymous donor—the largest single gift in Scripps history from a living donor since Miss Scripps’ founding grant—has enabled the College to begin construction of a $11.5 million performing arts center on campus with a renovated Garrison Theater as its center.

The anonymous gift came from someone whose name “is inscribed on all our hearts,” President Nancy Y. Bekavac said in announcing the gift. “It is a person who recognized this project was a key to our strategic plan and accomplishing the goals of our capital campaign.”

With plans approved in February by the City of Claremont, work on the center began in March 2002 with completion set for November 2003.

The Scripps Performing Arts Center will consist of new wings on the east and west sides of Garrison, including a rehearsal and recital hall on one side, and teaching studios, seminar and practice rooms, offices, a recording studio, and a music library on the other. Garrison Theater will retain its name, while the recital hall will be named the MaryLou and
George Boone Hall, in recognition of a lead gift from the couple last year. The Millard Sheets mosaic mural above the entry doors to Garrison and the Jean Ames tapestries in the foyer will remain focal points.

Music students and faculty will gain performance space for their largest productions and additional practice rooms to satisfy increasingly heavy demands. The new facility will provide space for convocations of the entire Scripps community, as well as be available to the other Claremont Colleges when not in use by Scripps. Refurbishing and expanding the
theater complex enables the College to act on an additional goal: to become a performing arts resource for the region. In cooperation with performing arts organizations in the Southern California region, Scripps hopes to establish a regular program of performances that are available on a subscription basis to the general public and for educational purposes for The Claremont Colleges and the local school community.

According to President Bekavac, Scripps has had big plans for Garrison Theater for years, but needed to raise big funds in order to proceed. The recent gift, combined with $3 million previously raised for the project, leaves $1.5 million still to be raised.”We are confident other alumnae and friends of the College will want to join this effort to create a stellar music and performance center,” said Bekavac.

boora architects, based in Portland, Oregon, will oversee the project. Specializing in design for higher education, boora has designed Pomona College’s Seaver Theater,The Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at UC Davis, and the Portland Center for the Performing Art. The firm is known for its preference for locally produced products, recycled or recyclable materials, and energy efficient design elements. boora’s design for Scripps College retains the integrity of the 1962 structure of Garrison Theater, while expanding the center with the addition of separate but immediately adjacent wings to the west and the east of the building.

Michael Deane Lamkin, vice president and dean of faculty as well as professor of music, commented: “The arts, unlike other areas of academe, engage the individual on a complex level of intellectual demand and artistic sensitivity. Experiencing the arts can make a fundamental difference in the education of students—a difference we at Scripps and in Claremont want for our students as another way to make us stand out and make our students better prepared for life.”