Sonoma State University -- September 24, 2003

Evert Person's $3 Million Gift To SSU For Green Music Center Brings Project's Construction Closer To Reality

Sonoma State University announced on Monday that Evert and Norma Person have committed $3 million toward the construction of the Donald and Maureen Green Music Center.

The gift puts the fund-raising campaign within approximately $1 million of the projected $39 million required to start construction of the music center, which will also be home to the Santa Rosa Symphony.

"Norma and I are pleased and delighted to help build what will be one of the finest concert halls in the nation," says Evert Person. "It is our hope that the partnership between an outstanding university and a leading regional symphony will preserve and enrich the cultural arts of this region for generations to come."

SSU officials project that construction will start in spring 2004, once the remaining funds are secured and construction bids and other final approvals are obtained.

Construction of the 1400-seat concert hall and related facilities is slated to take two years. The University and Symphony plans to open the center for public performances in fall 2006.

"This gift was an extraordinary act of generosity," says Santa Rosa Symphony music director Jeffrey Kahane. "The Green Music Center will transform not only the music experience of everyone involved with the Symphony, but also the cultural lives of thousands of people all over the North Bay."

According to SSU President Ruben Arminana, "The Persons are expressing their love of the arts in a wonderful way. Their gift is turning the original vision of the University into reality." The university plans to continue fund raising to complete the project and to build the endowment to support programming in the music center.

Evert Person, former Press Democrat owner-publisher, and his wife Norma are longtime patrons of the arts and education, especially supporting programs that provide opportunities for youth. Evert Person previously established a $3 million endowment for the performing arts at Sonoma State University, and the 475-seat Evert B. Person Theatre on the campus is named in his honor.

Mr. Person also was awarded an honorary doctorate from Sonoma State University and the Board of Trustees of the California State University in 1993 in recognition of his leadership and contributions to the university and region.

A graphic rendering of the Green Music Center is available upon request.

Media Contact: Susan Kashack, Director of Communications, (707) 664-2122 or (707) 974-6338.

For further information, contact:

Evert and Norma Person, (707) 539-7679
Ruben Armiñana, President, Sonoma State University, (707) 664-2156
Jeffrey Kahane, Artistic Director, Green Music Festival and Music Director &
Conductor, Santa Rosa Symphony, 546-7097, x218
Stuart Jones, SSU Vice President for Development (707) 664-2712
Corrick & Norma Brown, Conductor Laureate, Santa Rosa Symphony, (707) 546-7563
Connie Wolfe, Development Director, Santa Rosa Symphony, (707) 546-7097, x214


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