MC announces donors, titles of named spaces in Clayton Center

Along with chandeliers, curtains and artwork, signage denoting named spaces also has gone up in the new Clayton Center for the Arts located on the Maryville College campus.

“We’re very excited to see many of the final touches starting to go up in the two buildings and are looking forward to welcoming the public into the Clayton Center while also honoring those donors who have made this wonderful facility a reality,” said Holly Jackson-Ludlow, the College’s vice president for advancement and community relations.

The name of the Center was unveiled April 24, 2009, when a topping out ceremony included an announcement that the $47.3-million facility would be named in honor of Clayton Homes, the Clayton Family Foundation and key campaign volunteer, Kevin Clayton.

Jackson-Ludlow said that plans for some named spaces were announced prior to and following last April’s event, but a full list of all donors had not been made public until now.

Regarding the three main performance spaces, Jackson-Ludlow said the 1,200-seat performance hall in the main building is a gift from the East Tennessee Foundation’s Randall Keith Nutt Fund. The space has been named for Ronald and Lynda Nutt. The flexible theatre bears the name of the Haslam Family, and the 252-seat recital hall in the smaller art and recital hall building is named “The Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall.”

The vice president said numerous donors had taken the opportunity to honor loved ones while also supporting the construction of the Clayton Center.

“Many of the names on these spaces recognize parents, spouses, children, former teachers and professors, businesses and business associates,” she continued. “We’re very appreciative that the community has taken the opportunity to make sure that the names of special people, arts supporters and organizations live on in this facility.”

The grand foyer is inspiration for the Maryville College Window of Opportunity strategic plan and was made possible by a gift from Sherri Lee, who wanted memorialize her late husband, William Baxter Lee III, who served as the Maryville College Director from 1996 until his death in 1998.

The Nita Eckles West Stage, located in the main performance hall, was made possible by gifts from the West and Ramsey families and honors their grandmother and great-grandmother who taught drama and speech at the College for 44 years and is credited for starting the theatre department in 1899.

The Choral Note Society, a group of local musicians and music supporters, is spearheading an effort to raise $250,000 to name the choral rehearsal room for the late Dr. Harry Harter, who directed the Maryville College Concert Choir for 34 years and chaired the College’s Fine Art Division from 1964 until 1981.

The Massey Family Rehearsal Hall, made possible from gifts from Randy and Angela Massey, is the space for instrumental group rehearsals.

The music library was made possible by Blount Excavating Inc., and the Land Music Computer Lab recognizes the donations of Stephen Land.

The main building houses two art galleries. The Blackberry Farm Gallery, made possible with gifts from Blackberry Farm and the Beall Family, is the featured art gallery. A smaller gallery and gift shop area known as “La Dolce Vita Gallery” was made possible by an anonymous donor.

Funding for the scene shop was given in memory of Ann Ragsdale by friend and MC Board Member Jim Usdan.

The main concessions area recognizes the support of Twin City Dealerships and partners Jerry Hodge, Allen Lewis and Charles Stephens. Blount Memorial Hospital made gifts toward the box office space.

The executive director suite was made possible by a donation from McCarty Holsaple McCarty Architects and Interior Designers.

With funding support from Kevin and Amanda Painter, the green room has been named the George A. “Gig” Painter Memorial Green Room. The college-side entrance lobby is named in recognition of support from Shirley and Dan Greaser, while the city-side entrance lobby is named in memory of Robert W. Pounders by Mark, Cathy, Bailey and Abbie Cate.

The main building of the Clayton Center has multiple dressing rooms for both professional and student performers. Two 12-person dressing rooms were made possible by gifts from the Anne and Dick Ragsdale Family; another by Mike and Evelyn Ross. A four-person dressing room was made possible by the Terry and Starr Bragg Family.

A two-person dressing room carries the name of donors Jack Barlow and Diane Humphreys-Barlow, who wished “to honor their ‘stars,’ John, Joshua, Christopher and Michael.” Another two-person dressing room was made possible by the Trust Company of Knoxville and president and CEO Sharon Miller Pryse. Harrison Construction made the star dressing room possible. The make-up room is a gift from Fred and Sharon Lawson.

Eight practice rooms are also housed in the main building and were made possible by: Joe and Cookie Zappa, the Zappa Family and Joseph Construction Co.; Dr. Clint Wight (in honor of Carol Ann Smalley); CBBC Bank (in honor of the bank’s associates); Mark and Hope Ingram; Vulcan Materials Company, MidSouth Division; Jack and Kathleen Stewart (in honor of Sandra Stewart Murphy); Suzanne Schoen Vest and friends (in memory of Victor R. and Sallie Warth Schoen); and Jim Proffitt (in memory of Dr. James Nicholas Proffitt and Ruth Goddard Proffitt).

Funding for the double practice room was given by Knox Singleton and is named “The Mary Lois Brugler and Richard L. Mara Practice Room.”

The faculty chair office is named in memory of Dr. Harry Harter at the request of donor Ellie Morrow, and the faculty lounge was made possible by a gift from Dr. and Mrs. Ken Tuck.

Thirteen faculty offices were made possible by several donors: Wayne Kramer (honoring his late wife, Sarah Jane Hardrath Kramer, who taught art at MC); George and Carol Poland; Alvin Baker; Fred and Carolyn Forster (in honor of the Fred Forster Family); the East Tennessee Foundation’s Dr. Ray M. and Mrs. Christine G. Hayworth Charitable Fund; Bill and Brenda Johnson; Ronald and Yolanda Koo (in memory of Earl and Conchita Blazer); Jerome and Deborah Moon; KenJo Markets/Carruthers Family; Joe and Sue Dawson; Warren and Annelle Neel; Joy Mahana Bishop (in honor of Rachel Gibson); and Dr. Jerry Waters.

In addition to the Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall, the art and recital hall building, (which is the smaller of the two buildings that constitute the Clayton Center), includes several named spaces.

The green room is named “The Lillian P. Lyle Green Room,” in honor of the donor.

The Community Art Gallery was made possible by Denso, Inc.

The art and recital hall has two changing rooms, with one made possible by Atlantic Architectural Services and Rob and Lisa Cunningham, and another made possible by Jan and David Dugger of Shoffner Mechanical Industrial Services Co., Inc.

21st Mortgage Corporation’s name is on one smart classroom, and the Devon Group’s name is on another smart classroom, thanks to donors Bob Talbot and Raja Jubran.

The graphic design studio was made possible by the Kenneth E. Boring Charitable Foundation, and the First Tennessee Bank Foundation provided funding for the art computer lab. The photography studio and darkroom space was made possible by a gift from the Regal Foundation.

In addition, several pieces of artwork in both buildings are on loan from the private art collection of MC Board Member William E. “Ed” Harmon.

Named spaces outside the Center include a tree planted in memory of Sarah Jane Hardrath Kramer by the law office of Kramer Rayson LLP; a sitting area on the plaza, which was funded in memory of Robert C. Jackson by the Jackson Family; and garden landscaping, provided by the MC Class of 2007 and Rufus and Rebecca King in memory of Elgin and Ethel King.

Additionally, community members donated a conductor’s podium in honor of Bill Robinson’s 30 years of service to the community.

For more information, contact Holly Jackson-Ludlow at 865-273-8884 or

© 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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