Boone Recital Hall: A Sensory Celebration
MaryLou and George Boone have made philanthropy, especially to educational causes, a key part of their lives. They have both been trustees at The Claremont Colleges— she at Scripps, he at Harvey Mudd. They also share a commitment to the arts. Thus, their involvement with the Performing Arts Center was a natural.
But there’s another side to how MaryLou came to know Scripps College and eventually to be involved with the Performing Arts Center.
“I really wasn’t much aware of The Claremont Colleges as a young woman, as I grew up on the Westside and went to college at Stanford,” she said. “Then I met George. One of our first dates was dinner at a restaurant on Mt. Baldy. On the way, George said to me, ‘I want to stop off to show you an attractive place.’ It was Scripps College. As we walked down Elm Tree Lawn, I asked him how he had happened to discover such a wonderful place. And he rather sheepishly admitted, ‘Well, I used to date someone here.’ I thought that was amusing. I never forgot about Scripps or our first walk together across the campus.”
The next time MaryLou heard about Scripps was through Professor Eric Haskell, professor of French and director of the Clark Humanities Museum, who invited her to campus for lectures and events. Soon, she became deeply interested and involved in the art programs on campus and eventually was asked to join the Scripps Board of Trustees. In 1998, MaryLou curated a ceramics exhibition at the Clark Humanities Museum with pieces from her own extensive collection.
“While I was a trustee,” she said, “I was perplexed why Garrison Theater wasn’t being used more often. When I heard that the College had purchased it and had plans to create a whole center for the performing arts, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, would I like to get involved!'”
While art is a continuing passion for MaryLou, she viewed music as one more creative area in which to immerse herself. Her strong growing interest, shared by her husband, led them to make a generous gift to establish the MaryLou and George Boone Recital Hall—the beautiful, light-filled addition on the west side of Garrison Theater.
What does MaryLou think of the Performing Arts Center and the new recital hall?
“The whole complex is fabulous,” she said. “I find it thrilling to have such a place now at Scripps. Both George and I are so pleased that the Performing Arts Center and the recital hall will be home to the Joint Music Program of the northern colleges.”
“We were fortunate enough to have a chance to listen to the Concert Choir rehearse in the recital hall before they sang at the Dedication Ceremony,” MaryLou added. “Sitting in that lovely new space, listening to glorious music, letting the light from outside pour over us and throughout the room was magical. It brought all the senses together, making each one more special and intense.”