The Dillingham Renovation

Some interesting things are happening on the way to $500,000.

The campaign to give Dillingham Center its first renovation since the facility opened in 1969 requires $10 million. New York State has already awarded $2.3 million through its Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program. The College will commit $7.2 million. The remaining $500,000 will come, not from the kindness of strangers, but from alumni, parents, and friends who have special places in their hearts for one of the country’s foremost theater programs. As of March 2010, $227,500 has been raised.

“As far as I’m concerned, acting in a professional theater company began the first semester of my freshman year,” says campaign cochair Larry Hirschhorn ’80. “Having had the chance to immerse myself in that atmosphere for four years was a remarkable gift. But things weren’t perfect. I remember a lot of makeshift stuff in Dillingham and having to share space with other departments—and that was almost 30 years ago. The time has come to technologically update the place for a new century. One of the most respected theater departments in the country deserves a state-of-the-art building.”

Two recent gifts—one from a private donor and one from an appreciative group of alumni — show how a gift to Dillingham can enhance the programs in both performance and production.

Loren Klausner Colbert ’78 Names the Ticket Office
Loren Klausner Colbert’s love of the theater was engendered by her parents, who often took her to shows in New York as a child. To commemorate her own appreciation of high-quality performance and production, Loren ’78, a former president of the Friends of Ithaca College, has elected to name the ticket and house management office in the newly renovated Dillingham Center for the Performing Arts.

The Dr. John Bracewell Sound Laboratory and Studio
Dave Misner ’84, Steve Monsey ’84, Paula M. Cole ’87, Richard Manfredi ’84, and Joe Bly ’84 — all former students of John “Doc” Bracewell, professor emeritus of theater arts — are putting out a call to raise $25,000 to name a sound laboratory and studio in honor of their former mentor.
“We know money is tight, especially for those of us in theater,” says Misner, speaking for alumni and friends involved in the “Honoring Dr. John” effort. “But if we can make our gifts of whatever amount in easy-to-afford installments, we can, for the monthly cost of a couple of cappuccinos, make an impact and honor the man who taught us to perform miracles on a tight schedule and no budget.”
For more on “Honoring Dr. John,” and to read shared recollections from his former students, many of which involved near-miss (and some not-so-near-miss) collisions backstage, visit

Naming opportunities for the Dillingham renovation are available at all levels and include
•  dressing room and hallway lockers ($500)
•  tribute on the wall of honor ($3,000)
•  two piano vocal rooms ($25,000 each)
•  library ($25,000) — named
•  costume shop ($75,000)
•  ticket office ($50,000) — named
•  scene shop ($50,000)
•  two “smart” classrooms ($75,000 each)
•  design studio ($100,000)
•  lobby ($500,000)

For a complete list of giving opportunities, and to follow the progress of the campaign, visit The Dillingham renovation will culminate in October with the first-ever on-campus reunion of theater alumni.

“The reunion and the campaign to give Dillingham a needed facelift are chances to make the bonds between theater alums even stronger,” says drama major and campaign cochair Caroleen Feeney ’86. “No matter what amount you can give — whether it’s $10 or whether it’s more — what’s important is to become part of a whole. Connecting is the gift we give ourselves. Connecting and celebrating are wonderful things.”