KSU hosts Benefit Gala and announces plans for new performance facility

The School of the Arts at Kennesaw State University hosted its third annual benefit gala in the…

Georgia (Mar 22, 2004) — KSU hosts Benefit Gala and announces plans for new performance facility

Cheryl Brown


Contact: Cheryl Anderson Brown‚ 770−499−3417 or cbrown@kennesaw.edu

The School of the Arts at Kennesaw State University hosted its third annual benefit gala in the Egyptian Ballroom at the Fox Theatre on Saturday‚ March 20. A sold−out crowd of 420 attended.

The evening‚ billed as‚ “A Black and White Masked Ball‚” will benefit scholarships and student−learning initiatives in the School of the Arts. The event opened with a silent auction‚ organized by the Atlanta Women’s Commerce Club. More than 150 items‚ ranging from jewelry and fine art to holidays in Nantucket and Scotland‚ were included in the auction. The evening also included dinner catered by Tony Conway of A Legendary Event and dance music by the KSU Jazz Ensemble.

For nearly a year‚ Joseph Meeks‚ dean of the School of the Arts‚ and a team of community volunteers have been planning the event. “The School of the Arts’ ball has become an important event on the social calendar‚” says Cheryl Moultrie‚ who chaired the 2004 benefit gala with her husband‚ Robert. “As more and more people discover how talented the students and faculty are at Kennesaw State‚ they want to become more involved.”

That growing recognition and excitement helped this year’s committee garner a dramatic increase in the gala’s fundraising success. Pre−event estimates anticipate that the 2004 Benefit Gala will raise $250‚000‚ a figure equal to the combined totals from the last two years.

At the gala‚ KSU President Dr. Betty L. Siegel and Meeks announced plans to construct a new multi−purpose‚ on−campus facility to house‚ among other things‚ a music rehearsal hall and a 750−seat performance hall. The university will fund the $6.5 million project with a combination of public and private funds.

"We are currently in the process of identifying a major sponsor to name the building‚" Meeks says. "But many foundations‚ individuals and companies already have contributed to the project."

The new building is intended to meet the academic needs of Kennesaw State's growing department of music and the School of the Arts. According to Meeks‚ this facility is being designed with long−term academic interests in mind‚ and would not affect the university's affiliation with the proposed arts complex at the Cobb Galleria. "Because the primary purpose of this new facility is to provide necessary facilities for daily use by our music program‚ it will have no impact on any of the collaborative projects being discussed by the university and the Galleria‚" Dean Meeks says.

The music department‚ which is nationally accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music‚ is home to more than 160 undergraduate music and music education majors‚ and also serves more than 1‚500 non−majors through the general education and music ensemble programs.

The architects for the project are Stevenson & Wilkinson Stang & Newdow‚ who also designed Kennesaw State's Ann & John Clendenin Computer Science Building and the recently opened Anne Frank in the World exhibit at the university. Acoustic design for the building is being provided by Acoustic Dimensions‚ a company renowned for its work on Ryman Auditorium in Nashville‚ the Peabody Conservatory in Maryland and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Shakespeare's hometown‚ Stratford−upon−Avon in England.

Construction is slated to begin this summer.

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Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population exceeding 17‚400 from 127 countries. The third largest state university out of 34 institutions in the University System of Georgia‚ KSU offers more than 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu