Sonoma State University -- September 24, 2003
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
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,
Connie Wolfe, Development Director, Santa Rosa Symphony, (707) 546-7097,