A donation to Albion College, characterized as the largest gift in the institution's 182-year history, will help pay for construction of a new music building on the Albion, Mich., campus.
The college announced in a news release that Richard and Marilyn Vitek, who both graduated from Albion in 1956, have made a donation of undisclosed amount that will cover about half the costs of the facility.
Construction on the Richard and Marilyn Vitek Center for Musical Arts could begin as early as fall 2018. The school is evaluating architects' plans for the center.
“The Vitek Center will transform the study and performance of music at Albion College for years to come,” says Albion College President Mauri Ditzler. “The musical arts are an integral part of the liberal arts, and this building, which will sit along our pathway to downtown, will be an ideal setting for musical offerings by our students and faculty as well as from artists locally and regionally."
Music Department faculty have been researching recent similar projects at both small colleges and large universities as they determine the most ideal array of features and specifications for the new building.
The Viteks got married two weeks after graduating from Albion College in 1956.
Marilyn Vitek says she grew up in a musical family, singing in choirs and in church and regularly attending operas through high school. She is excited about the thought of the music department relocating from its existing home on the basement level of Goodrich Chapel.
“To have a music building, and a special place that they can call their home, should make for a much more interesting adventure to a lot of young people,” Vitek says. “I think we struck the right chord.”