Special EventsPage address: http://www.mnsu.edu/theatre/specialevents.html
A Very Special Event
Dedication of Earley Center for Performing Arts
On Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, Minnesota State University, Mankato dedicated and renamed the Performing Arts Center the Earley Center for Performing Arts. Below are pictures of Dean Emerita Jane F. Earley with the plaque that will be installed in the building; in the second picture is Chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance, Paul J. Hustoles. Below that is Dean Earley's speech from the event.
Thanks first of all to those who had a part in creating this event: the Events Office, the President’s Office, MnSCU, the College of Arts and Humanities Dean and Department Chairs, the students, faculty, and staff who performed and spoke today, and the committee headed by Dr. Paul Hustoles.
President Davenport, I am deeply honored by your decision to name this building for me. This building was still new when I came here in 1969, and that very fall—encouraged by my English Department colleague and friend, Donabel Linney, I became a theatre season ticket holder and a concert patron. In addition to the countless plays, recitals, and concerts I have attended here since, I’ve also been in this building for many other occasions. I have addressed the faculty every fall and spring here, and presided at and attended funerals or memorial services for faculty, students, and staff in these halls. I have heard administrators resign here (under duress), entertained governors-elect here, celebrated graduates and local heroes. E. J. Halling, for whom the recital hall is named; Ted Paul, for whom this theatre is named; and Lowell and Nadine Andreas, for whom the studio theatre is named—I’ve known and worked with them all, and am humbled to have my name connected to the places that honor them.
I requested that today there not be a series of speeches about me, but rather that we celebrate the building, that we hear a few selections from the current folks who live and work here; our concert pianist, our concert choir performing music composed by our choir conductor (a piece I dearly love), some elections from the current theatrical production, and especially the impromptu theatre faculty quartet singing “No One is Alone” from my favorite musical, “Into the Woods”—a play demonstrating that though we wander alone through a life of magic forests and often feel forsaken, none of us ever is really alone—there is always some “other” and for the most part it is a community or collaborative enterprise.
In the arts so much is done by collaboration. In this building dedicated to the performing arts, there is a rich heritage of students and faculty and staff working together to produce moments that touch our hearts and give us context for our emotions. I’m honored to have my name attached to a building in which that kind of working together will go on and on, to produce evidence that “no one is alone” here because this is a place of community.
It’s the most beautiful building on campus—I’ve thought so from the day I arrived—and although my office as both professor and dean was in another building, this building holds so many of my memories and illustrates my thoughts about higher education and about life. I’m thrilled to have this 44 year old building carry my name, because I know what extraordinary things have happened here, and what extraordinary things are yet to come.
Thank you, and thank you all for coming today and for supporting our students.
Jane F. Earley
Dean Emerita, Minnesota State University, Mankato