Connecticut College has announced two gifts totaling $20 million for the renovation of Palmer Auditorium and Castle Court.
The gifts, which include $10 million from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and $10 million from alumna Nancy Marshall Athey ('72) and her husband, Preston Athey, will enable the college to transform the 1,300-seat Palmer Auditorium, an Art Deco theater built in 1939, and Castle Court, the space adjacent to the auditorium, into a revitalized center for performance and creative research.
A longtime supporter of the college, the Sherman Fairchild Foundation previously awarded $5 million to the school to turn New London Hall into an integrative center for computer and life sciences. The Atheys, also longtime supporters of the college, have funded scholarships, research, and arts initiatives for students and faculty. Currently in the planning phase, the Palmer Auditorium/Castle Court project is expected to be completed by 2020.
"Our strategic plan recognizes the importance of creative research as fundamental to developing imaginative and engaged citizens of the future," said Connecticut College president Katherine Bergeron. "We are so grateful to the Sherman Fairchild trustees and to Nancy and Preston for their extraordinary generosity and for making this vision a reality."