Sinquefields give millions for state-of-the-art MU music facility

2 years 3 months 1 week ago April 10, 2015 Apr 10, 2015 Friday, April 10 2015 Friday, April 10, 2015 10:06:00 AM CDT in News
By: James Packard, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - A major Missouri political donor and financial mogul donated $10 million Friday to the University of Missouri to help fund a new building for the School of Music.

Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield's donation is the largest gift ever to support the fine arts at MU.

The proposed new building for the school would be located at the northeast corner of Hitt Street and University Avenue. The building is part of a larger project to revamp the fine arts department which includes renovating the Fine Arts building and improving facilities for the theater department. The overhaul includes a new recital hall for the School of Music, renovations to the Rhynsburger Theatre, and an expansion of the Bingham Gallery.

The whole project is estimated to cost $74 million and construction is set to begin in 2016. The theater and arts departments will share the Fine Arts building once the School of Music moves to the new building.

Michael O'Brien, dean of the College of Arts and Science, said, "Once completed, this project will facilitate continued enrollment growth, enable more students to explore the fine arts at Mizzou, attract outstanding students and faculty and enhance the aesthetics of our already beautiful campus."

Julia Gaines, the director of the MU School of Music, said, "We've had a glass ceiling over us for many years because of our facility limitations. This gift will allow us to grow in so many ways, and we are more than ready for the opportunity."

MU said in a news release Friday the Sinquefields are long-time supporters of music and the arts. In 2009, the couple gave $1 million to MU to create the Mizzou New Music Initiative. MU's Sinquefield Composition Prize is MU's highest honor for a student composer. The Sinquefield's total giving to MU now amounts to more than $13 million.

Jeanne Sinquefield said, "We want Mizzou to become an international mecca for music composition." 

This video describes more about the Sinquefields' goal for the project.

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