FMU announces substantial gift from Kassab for Performing Arts Center
FLORENCE – Francis Marion University announced today that it has received a substantial gift from Florence resident Adele Kassab to fund the Garden Courtyard project of the FMU Performing Arts Center. The gift is being donated in honor of Starr Ward and Beverly Hazelwood, longtime friends of Kassab.
The courtyard with its fountain and garden area will be a popular spot for quiet repose or lively conversation. Within the larger PAC complex, the fountain and garden area can be reached through the academic wing, from the spacious lobby, or directly from outside.
“The courtyard is a central feature of the Performing Arts Center and a draw of the downtown Florence cultural corridor. This gift guarantees the construction of the courtyard,” said FMU President Fred Carter. “Adele’s gift is just the latest example of her family’s generosity to Francis Marion University and this community. I’m delighted that this gift recognizes the work that Beverly and Starr have done on behalf of the arts in this community and the advocacy that they’ve provided for this performing arts center.”
Adele Kassab and her late husband John have been two of FMU’s most ardent supporters since the institution’s inception, providing gifts for the music program, campus facilities, scholarships and endowed chairs.
The center will be located on 4.5 acres of land at the corner of Dargan and West Palmetto and used for performances, programs and exhibits. The facility will also include instructional space for use by the university’s fine arts program. National traveling music, dance and theater productions will perform at the center as well.
“The new Performing Arts Center, planned strategically in the heart of Florence, will provide many opportunities for collaboration and new educational and cultural experiences,” Carter said.
Construction is expected to be complete in the fall of 2010.