Tiffin University Raises $3 million for 21st Century Music Arts Lab

PAL band room renderingMajor gifts and pledge commitments from nearly 20 individuals, organizations and foundations, along with scores of gifts from donors throughout Northern Ohio and beyond, helped Tiffin University raise more than $3 million to transform an abandoned factory into a 21st Century Performing Arts Laboratory (PAL).

And because of the generosity of a trustee, the University can move forward with the project immediately without borrowing any money.

“We are thrilled by the tremendous and wide-spread support we have received for this project,” said Dr. Lillian Schumacher, president. “This is a much needed facility and will provide current and future students with high-tech studios and practice rooms to develop their skills. The amazing response to our fundraising efforts from individuals and organizations throughout the region is greatly appreciated.”

Schumacher pointed out that the project is being funded completely with private support and that it will be open for student use next August. Many of the major gifts are pledge commitments that will be satisfied over a multi-year period.

Last year, TU Trustee Frank Murphy pledged to match dollar for dollar every gift or pledge made to TU up to $4 million. Because Murphy’s gift is unrestricted (the University may use the funds anyway it sees fit), funds raised will expedite the completion of the PAL without borrowing money.

PAL studio rendering“Frank Murphy is helping to transform Tiffin University with his generosity and deep commitment to our desire for excellence,” Schumacher said. “He is having a profound impact on the lives of students for decades to come.”

The largest gift for PAL is from the National Machinery Foundation: $300,000. Additionally, the Foundation pledged $200,000 to endow a scholarship focused on students with financial need.

“We are sincerely grateful for the National Machinery Foundation’s support of two very important areas of focus: providing quality learning environments for our students, and our ability to offer financial assistance to our students,” Schumacher said. “The Foundation’s generosity is greatly appreciated and is yet another indication of the vital and positive role the Foundation plays in the life of the region.”

The 14,000-square-foot PAL project is a response to the growth and popularity of the musical arts at the University over the last two decades. The Tiffin University Music Department was created in 1995 to offer students the opportunity to participate in extracurricular music programs to strengthen their academic and career plans. The department has grown steadily and now offers a professional music curriculum. From its inception, the department has grown from one choir of non-music-major singers to 22 diverse ensembles and nearly 200 students.

The PAL, which is an example of TU’s commitment within its strategic plan to offer quality learning environments, will include two acoustically isolated rehearsal halls, a keyboard and production laboratory, a multi-track digital recording studio, practice rooms and teaching studios and an outdoor performance space.

“Music helps students develop and refine what are seen as skills needed for success in the 21st Century,” said Brad Rees, director of the music department. “These skills include critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration, cross-disciplinary thinking, initiative and self-direction, teamwork and responsibility, and visual and technological literacy. The PAL will, indeed, be a laboratory that will help prepare our students for success.”

Individuals and organizations who have made major gifts or pledges to the project as well as the space within the building that will be named in recognition of their generosity are listed below:

  • Webster Industries: Teaching Studio;
  • William Fahrenbruck: Practice Room;
  • Fred Zoeller: Keyboard & Production Lab;
  • National Machinery Foundation: Recording Studio;
  • Jeanne & Larry Adelsperger: Entrance Lobby;
  • Michael & Karen Klepper: Rehearsal Room;
  • Meshech Frost: Rehearsal Room;
  • White Family: Teaching Studio (Made possible by a grant from The White Family Charitable Fund of the Tiffin Community Foundation);
  • Dr. John & Mrs. Joyce Millar: Teaching Studio;
  • Brad Rees: Teaching Studio (Donated by Music Alumni & Friends;
  • Claire Johansen & Michael Pfefferle: Rehearsal Room;
  • Bill Hertzer: Rehearsal Room;
  • Richard & Sabrina Kirk: Outdoor Performance Space;
  • Diana Kirk: Kids Choir;
  • US Bank Foundation: Practice Room;
  • Dr. Reginald Wilkinson: Practice Room;
  • Ken Simmons: Practice Room (Memorial donation by The Simmons Family);
  • Dr. Ron & Dr. Lillian Schumacher: Practice Room;
  • Noah & Brynn Rees: Video Editing Room (Donated by M. & J. Rees).

For more information, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement, 419.448.3282.