In the Loop
Friends and Giving : Jun 21, 2017

College of the Arts celebrates supporters at Dean’s Circle event

By Macey Wilson

Each year, the College of the Arts celebrates its top supporters in an intimate evening of gratitude, friendship and the arts. Dean Lucinda Lavelli, her husband, Ken Webster, and their dog, Rocky, hosted the College of the Arts annual Dean’s Circle Event on Tuesday, June 13 to do just that.  

Dean Lavelli thanked the school directors: Maria Rogal (Art + Art History), Kevin Orr (Music), Jerry Dickey (Theatre + Dance) and Assistant Dean Tony Kolenic as well as state senator Keith Perry, who recently passed a bill that could potentially provide $5.9 Million in funding to initiate the building renovation of the School of Music. She also recognized special friends to the college, Jim Theriac and John and Margaret Sung (Music), Merci Clark (Art + Art History) and Mary Ann Green (Theatre + Dance).

“You are here because of your support,” Lavelli said. “We can’t do it without donors like you.”

Jerry Dickey, director of the School of Theatre + Dance, introduced Mary Ann Green, who recently made a donation to the school.

The director of the School of Music, Kevin Orr, also spoke about the annual International Piano Festival, June 10-17, 2017. He welcomed one of the performers, Xiaopei Xu, to perform a rich and complex piece. The graceful and commanding performance by the young pianist left the audience speechless.

In the 2017-2018 academic year, the College will also celebrate four significant milestones: The School of Music will celebrate its 90th anniversary with a concert February 17, 2018; the School of Theatre + Dance celebrates the Constans Theatre’s 50th anniversary; Steinbrenner Band Hall celebrates 10 years; and the College’s annual gala, Splendor, celebrates its 10th anniversary.

The event, catered by Simply Divine Catering, is a time for the College of the Arts to thank its donors who have supported the college with annual support of $1,000 or higher directed towards the donor’s interest.

“It’s because of donors like you that we’re able to give our students the finest arts education,” Lavelli said.

For more information about becoming a Dean’s Circle member, contact Jennifer Coolidge at 352-846-1211 or

See more photos from the event on Flickr.