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Milligan to dedicate new liberal arts center

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (Jan 30, 2008) – This weekend Milligan College will officially dedicate the new Elizabeth Leitner Gregory Center for the Liberal Arts as part of its opening weekend, Feb. 1-3. The dedication service will be held Friday, Feb. 1, at 2 p.m. and is open to the public.

The state-of-the-art facility includes a 294-seat theatre with proscenium stage and fly space for 35 lines, fully-equipped scene shop, orchestra pit, costume shop, dressing rooms, box office, concessions area and classroom studio.

“We’re pinching ourselves,” said theatre director Richard Major. “The opportunities this provides us for both performances and training, which go hand-in-hand, is really very special.”

The college’s theatre arts program has earned regional and national acclaim. Its productions have been featured at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, and for the past two decades, the Milligan College Theatre for Young Audiences has toured area schools, performing original productions for more than 175,000 children in our region.

“Milligan not only believes in the art of the spoken and written word, but this area truly represents the vibrancy and spirit of the college itself. This will be a very functional facility for our campus and will serve many needs,” said Major.

The facility has been in development for several years. The college’s former theatre, Walker Auditorium, was small and had limited functionality. When it was removed from Derthick Hall as part of that building’s renovation in 2001, plans for a new theatre began to take shape.

Several building options and phases were considered. The final decision was to make the theatre a convocation center and the first part of a multi-phase Campus Center facility. Several projects had to be completed first, including the Derthick Hall renovation, creation of the Sword Commons, a new tennis facility, and a new Physical Plant. All paved the way for the new building.

Ground was broken in summer 2005 for what would become the Elizabeth Leitner Gregory Center for the Liberal Arts. The project involved a lengthy site preparation and infrastructure work.

“Our entire region benefits from the arts at Milligan and from this facility,” said Milligan President Donald R. Jeanes. “This is an important moment in the college’s history and an exciting time for our region.”

The opening weekend production will be a special presentation of “The Witnesses,” a professional musical written by Milligan alumnus Gary Richardson. The production is the sequel to Richardson’s awe-inspiring “The Rock and The Rabbi.” It is a drama about the birth of the church as seen through the eyes of Peter and Paul and features talented musicians and singers from New York City, Nashville, Orlando and Tampa Bay.

Public performances of “The Witnesses” will be held Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 3, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person and are available at the Milligan College Bookstore in advance or at the box office prior to the show.

For more information about the Gregory Center and opening weekend activities, visitwww.milligan.edu/gregorycenter, or call 423.461.8756.


MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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