The Croswell Opera House in Adrian, Michigan, has announced a $2.5 million gift from Julianne Argyros and her husband, George.
The largest gift in the theater's history will support the renovation of the 150-year-old building and bolster an endowment to ensure its long-term financial stability. Scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2017, the funds will be used to update the theater's infrastructure and provide new programming opportunities. The Croswell, which opened in 1866, is the oldest theater in Michigan and one of the oldest continuously operating theaters in the United States.
Julianne Argyros grew up in Adrian and graduated from Adrian High School in 1958. She met her husband while attending California State University at Long Beach. George Argyros, a graduate of Chapman University, earned his fortune in real estate and owned the Seattle Mariners from 1981 to 1989. He also served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain from 2001 to 2004. The couple's $1 million gift to the Croswell in 2013 helped launch the capital campaign, which has raised a total of $7.7 million for the renovations, exceeding its original $6.2 million goal as well as its "stretch" goal of $7.2 million.
"We are so grateful for George and Julia's generosity and for the faith they have shown in the Croswell and its role in our community," said Croswell artistic director Jere Righter.