Updated Thu, Jul 26, 2012 12:06 pm
Alumni and friends of the Ohio University Lancaster Campus came together Wednesday night to celebrate a regional campus homecoming of sorts, while taking in theatre, arts and culture.
The event occurred before the Rolling Stones tribute group Satisfaction took to the Wendel Concert stage as part of the Lancaster Festival.
The Ohio University Lancaster Campus enjoys a rich history in the arts. The annual Lancaster Festival grew from the vision of Dr. Raymond Wilkes, former dean of the Lancaster Campus to hold concerts on the campus.
Many Ohio University graduates come to the area and the campus for the festival each year.
"It’s a chance for folks to come back and participate in the festival. We have alumni and friends of Ohio University Lancaster here," said Dean Jim Smith. "It’s nice to hear your stories of your time on the Lancaster Campus."
Smith made those remarks right before the alumni and friends event began in Brasee Hall’s Wagner Theatre. Those in attendance were treated to a scene from the Ohio University Lancaster Theatre’s production of Chicago: The Musical before moving to the Herrold Hall patio for swing and jazz music from The Mark Flugge Band.
The Lancaster Campus continues to support arts and culture. The theatre program is thriving today and the Raymond Wilkes Art Gallery for the Visual Arts offers three exhibitions each year.
Fostering arts and culture on campus is part of a $3.5 million fundraising campaign at Ohio University Lancaster. In June, the Lancaster Campus kicked off the three-year Promise Lives Campaign. Part of the campaign funds are dedicated to improving the Wagner Theatre.
The stage, sound, lighting systems and theatre were designed in the 1960s and needed to be updated. With improved facilities, the theatre will be equipped to host more visiting artists and performers and serve as a venue for lectures by nationally known speakers.
Such events will serve to enrich and educate students and community members alike.
The Campaign is also raising funds to establish an endowment for cultural enrichment. The endowment for the fine arts, performing arts, and a speaker series will make a major difference in the cultural and intellectual impact of the campus on the community.
With an upgraded art gallery, the Lancaster Campus will be able to increase school collaborations, student art shows, co-sponsored events with OU’s College of Fine Arts, museum partnerships, and touring exhibitions.
The Lancaster Campus has already raised nearly $1.8 million toward its goal. To learn more about The Promise Lives Campaign, visit www.ohio.edu/lancaster.