66-revision-3Chapman University has raised enough money to cover the cost of the $64 million Center for the Arts.  President Jim Doti announced in his 2012 State of the University address that the center’s cost had increased from $50 million after Chapman realized it would need to place the center partially underground because of the City of Orange’s building height codes. However, the donors, an Orange County couple who still remain anonymous, increased their $25 million donation.

Theatre major Lance Frantzich (’12) said while he won’t be able to perform in the center, he’s excited to see it finished.  “I wish I could perform in it, but I’ll get to come back as an alumnus and watch performances, which is almost as good,” he said.

The vision for the Center for the Arts has been driven by William Hall, who will serve as the founding Dean and Artistic Director.  Chapman first announced plans to build the 1,100-seat concert hall in May 2009. It is expected to be completed by 2014.  A complete list of the donors contributing to the project has not been released, said Mary Platt, director of communications and media relations.  Chapman plans to demolish all the buildings along Glassell Street between the former Public Safety office and the Walnut Center strip mall to make room for construction. The Public Safety office moved across Glassell Street in December 2011 to make room for the new center.

Trustee Paul Musco and his wife Marybelle Musco chaired the effort to raise money for the center, Platt said. “They worked with University Advancement masterminding the whole fundraising drive,” Platt said.  The Muscos’ grandchildren, alumnus Alex David and senior Gabby David, were part of the arts program at Chapman. Marybelle Musco said her grandchildren’s participation inspired her and her husband to be a part of the building project. Paul Musco’s brother also provided inspiration for the couple to donate their time to Chapman.  “I had an older brother who wanted to be a doctor and because we had no funds, he couldn’t become a doctor,” Paul Musco said. “I always remembered that, which is why we give to education.”

A version of this story appeared in the Feb. 27 issue of The Panther.  For the original story, visit http://www.thepantheronline.com/news/performing-arts-center-paid-for-1.2797930.