Kennesaw State will open new performance center named for Bobbie Bailey and her family

Kennesaw State University will officially open its new performance center with two events in early October. A ribbon−cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m.‚ Friday‚ Oct. 5. A gala concert will take place at 8 p.m.‚ Saturday‚ Oct. 6. At the concert‚ the building will be dedicated as the Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center‚ in recognition of a $1.75 million gift from KSU trustee Bobbie Bailey.(For the complete story‚ please click on the headline above.)

Georgia (Sep 17, 2007) — Kennesaw State University will officially open its new performance center with two events in early October. A ribbon−cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m.‚ Friday‚ Oct. 5. A gala concert will take place at 8 p.m.‚ Saturday‚ Oct. 6. At the concert‚ the building will be dedicated as the Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center‚ in recognition of a $1.75 million gift from KSU trustee Bobbie Bailey.

The Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center houses a 630−seat concert hall‚ a 3‚600−square−foot music rehearsal hall and the 1‚800−square−foot D. Russell Clayton Art Gallery‚ which is sponsored by a $1 million gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Stevens and Wilkinson Stang and Newdow and built by The Facility Group. Acoustics for the concert hall were designed by Acoustic Dimensions‚ a company renowned for its work on the Victoria Concert Hall in England and the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas.

Construction began on the $9 million performance center‚ which is funded through a combination of private and public money‚ in February 2006.

The KSU Department of Music began holding classes and rehearsals in the new facility this month while finishing touches are being completed. The music department at Kennesaw State has experienced 70−percent growth since 2000. Fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music‚ the department offers degrees in music‚ music performance and music education and boasts a faculty of artist−teachers‚ many of whom perform as principal musicians with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra‚ Atlanta Opera Orchestra and Cobb Symphony Orchestra. In the last three years‚ the department has created orchestra and opera programs of its own and has added a jazz studies program. At the same time‚ its graduates have been accepted into the nation’s top graduate music programs and have won numerous national and international music competitions. Each year‚ the department presents more than 100 public performances.

“We are extremely grateful to Dr. Bailey for her generosity and support of Kennesaw State‚” KSU President Daniel S. Papp said. “This new facility will be a landmark venue for the arts on the KSU campus‚ in Cobb County‚ and in Atlanta and Northwest Georgia. We look forward to the many stellar performers‚ paintings and array of programs that the center will host.”

The naming of the building’s atrium is in honor of Anna F. Henriquez‚ a long−time family friend‚ and the dedication of a new Steinway concert grand piano (Model D) is in memory of Bailey’s late mother‚ Mary Elizabeth Bailey.

“I’m honored to be able to give back and to be able to honor my wonderful friends and family‚” said Bailey‚ who has a long history as a philanthropist in the community and at Kennesaw State‚ where she previously funded the Bobbie Bailey Athletic Complex.

Bailey grew up in modest circumstances in a family of eight children. After her father was handicapped in a worksite accident on a New Deal−era project and the family home was lost in a fire‚ the family benefitted from the kindness of others.

“People gave us a little house to live in for a while. They made sandwiches for us to take to school. We had people help us and so we had to do something to give back‚” she says.

At age 14‚ Bailey‚ the third oldest child‚ began working during the day and attending school at night to help support the family. She went to work in the mechanical field‚ designing and building air conditioning and refrigeration compressors for the Orr Brothers. Bailey became CEO of Our Way Machine Shop in 1952. Bailey founded her own company‚ Our−Way Inc. in 1960. Later‚ Bailey merged the two companies together and became the world’s largest independent remanufacturer of commercial air conditioning and refrigeration compressors. Bailey served as CEO and sole owner of Our−Way until 2001 when she sold the company.

The ribbon−cutting ceremony for the Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center will take place at 10 a.m.‚ Oct. 5 and is open to the public. The Oct. 6 concert is also open to the public but requires tickets. Reservations may be made online at www.kennesaw.edu/arts.

The Clayton Gallery‚ which comprises Phase I of Kennesaw State’s proposed art museum‚ will officially open in late spring 2008‚ but a preview exhibition of works by the late artist Athos Menaboni will be on view during the Bailey Performance Center opening festivities.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. 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, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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