MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (Dec. 28, 2015) — Milligan College mourns the loss of James Martin, a long-time friend and generous supporter of not only Milligan’s mission, but arts development across East Tennessee.
In 2010, Milligan’s Mary B. Martin Auditorium was named after Martin’s wife when he made a significant donation to renovate Seeger Chapel, replacing the original wooden-pew-like seating with new padded, theatre-style seating, allowing the venue to seat 1,145 people. In addition, the renovations added a new stage curtain, a new glass balcony railing and refinished floors.
Martin also supported the International Storytelling Center and East Tennessee State University (ETSU), enriching their arts facilities and programs.
“We could not be more thankful for Jim’s support, which transformed one of our main arts venues on campus,” said Milligan President Dr. Bill Greer. “The Martins’ generous support of the arts throughout the region will long be remembered and will serve as a fitting legacy to a couple who believed deeply that our community would be made better through the arts.”
Mary B. Martin, who passed away in 2008, was a lifelong resident of Johnson City, Tennessee, and a member of First Christian Church. She began her 44-year career at Tennessee Eastman Company as a laboratory technician and later obtained a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from ETSU, studying nights and weekends while working full time at Eastman. Following graduation, she worked as a research chemist, doing exploratory work in new polymer systems. She was awarded two U.S. patents.