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Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Wofford holds ‘topping out’ ceremony: Celebrating new center for the arts

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By: Sheridan Kate Murray, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, at 11 a.m., members of the Wofford community gathered on site to celebrate the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts. This celebration honored Rosalind and Jerry Richardson, who gifted the building, and was intended to highlight the economic impact of the project. The event also acknowledged the construction teams who have worked to build the structure and will continue to do so until its completion.

Due to be completed in spring 2017, the RSRCA will provide space for a variety of academic programs including theatre, visual and studio arts. The 65,000-square-foot building will also house the art history department. The building will use energy-efficient technology and provide educational features like art and costume design studios, a black box theatre, a 300-seat performance hall, art galleries and several teaching spaces. The center will also feature two custom-made glass sculptures by artist Dale Chihuly.

President Nayef Samhat’s speech at the ceremony thanked the “extraordinary and skilled craftsman” for their work on the project. “While I could go on and describe how this transformational building will change the student experience at Wofford, this day in fact is about celebrating our construction teams,” he said. “They need to know how much we appreciate their hard work, attention to detail and commitment to excellence.”

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The Wofford community had the opportunity to sign a construction beam that will be placed inside the arts center. Jerry Richardson signed the ceremonial steel beam before the ceremony. The 1959 Wofford graduate and owner and founder of the Carolina Panthers provided the funding for the arts center in honor of his wife.

“I know that Mr. Richardson will say that this day is not about him, but we would not be where we are right now… without his gift to the college and his love and devotion to his wife, Rosalind,” said Samhat. “I want to thank them both personally on behalf of everyone at Wofford College… for your dedication to this wonderful institution, to each other and to the students who will use this space for generations to come.”

Wofford Chaplain and Professor of religion Reverend Ron Robinson delivered a blessing for the construction crews and the project underway. “Today we gather as a grateful Wofford College community. We are thankful for those who cast the vision for the role of art in the life of this place, those who understand the importance of beauty and joy, and those who understand that a liberal arts community is a place to explore through art the human condition and gain an understanding of life,” said Robinson. Robinson also gave a short blessing in Spanish to the construction crew.

Tristan Krebs ‘18 spoke about her experience as a theatre major and visual artist. She spoke about the center’s implications for the theater department, stating that the building will give her and other Wofford students opportunities to prepare for their futures.

“It is impossible to put into words what this building will do for current and future artists of Wofford and the world,” Krebs said.  “On behalf of the Wofford students pursuing their interests in the arts, I’d like to thank every architect, welder, subcontractor, supervisor, painter, brick mason and bulldozer driver – every person who’s stepped foot on this site with a hard hat and steel-toed boots. We appreciate you and your work.”

Speaker, Tristan Krebs, signing the beam.
Speaker, Tristan Krebs, signing the beam.

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