Professors and Western officials spoke about the long road to the $25 million building and how it will improve the educational atmosphere of the students and faculty.
Julie Feier, vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer, began the presentation by recalling the extensive process.
“[The renovation] was long overdue and it’s been really exciting to see it happen,” Feier said.
JE Dunn Construction project manager William Peterson worked closely with Dr. Al Caniff and Dr. Chase Hutchinson of the Art Department and Dr. Martha Violett of the Music Department to ensure the building fit student and faculty needs.
“They taught me that it’s not just building a wall, it’s what it means for these departments,” Peterson said of the professors.
Dr. Violett spoke on behalf of the Music Department and was accompanied by Scott Bird, a 2016 graduate who was heavily involved with the renovation as a student.
“We wanted to send a message that Western is serious about the arts,” Bird said of the building. “I hope that this building will show that the arts and the artists within it are as important as they are essential.”
After Dr. Caniff and Dr. Hutchinson presented the Art Department’s additions, Nancy Lovendahl discussed her creative process behind her sculpture The Power of Limits, featured on the Quigley lawn.
The large scale piece took a year to complete and was created from limestone blocks. Lovendahl cut leaf-like figures from the blocks to represent the form of unison, octaves, and interval proportions found by the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras.
Lovendahl said she aimed to create a piece that blended both the performing arts and the visual arts together.
As the night came to a close, there was one more task to complete in Quigley Hall. The dedication of the concert hall as the “Georgie and John Kincaid Concert Hall.”
The Kincaids met in band while they were students at Western. After graduating and marrying in 1947, the Kincaids became professors at their alma mater, John a music professor and Georgie a physical education professor. During their time at Western, the couple proudly supported the arts and were active community members.
Dr. Violett, who recalled her personal relationship with the pair, said that when she began teaching at Western in 1971, John made her feel right at home and the two welcomed her with open arms.
Following Dr. Violett’s presentation, John stood and acknowledged the cheering crowd who gave him a standing ovation in the concert hall. Georgie passed away in 2015, but her kind presence was felt greatly in Dr. Violett’s speech.
Read more about Quigley’s renovation:
Story and photos by Roberta Marquette-Strain.