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Theater Renovated, Dedicated to McMillan Family

Sunday, May 04, 2003

SPARTANBURG, SC -- Members of the Wofford community gathered Sunday night, May 4, to honor alumnus Marion McMillan and his family, and enjoy the first movie (“The Bourne Identity”) to be shown in a new campus theater.

The McMillan Theater (formerly known as the Lecture/Cinema Room), is located in the Campus Life Building, familiar to everyone in Spartanburg as the site of the Benjamin Johnson Arena and the black-box Tony White Theater, home of the Wofford Theatre Workshop.

The name of the facility recognizes McMillan, 1959 Wofford graduate and Spartanburg business leader, plus his wife, JoAnn, and his children Elodie, Stanford and Temple. Their major contribution to the $200,000 project was instrumental in ensuring its completion this spring.

Assisting in the planning of the renovated facility was a campus-wide task force chaired by Robert Goings, who served as president of the Wofford student body in 2002-2003. Following their suggestions, the theater was fitted out with a state-of-the-art projection system for feature-length films, digital productions, cable television sports and entertainment programming; “surround sound” comparable to shopping mall theaters; and tiered seating with comfortable, over-sized chairs for an audience of about 100.

“The renovation has made this facility a true multipurpose space with many exciting features,” McMillan said. “But what sold the project to our family was a vision that we could create a great place for students to go at night or on a weekend when they had no car available and no pocket money,” said McMillan. “I am confident that we have achieved our goal.”

In their remarks at the dedication, Wofford President Benjamin Dunlap and Senior Vice President David S. Wood echoed McMillan’s sentiment and added that the faculty looked forward to using the theater frequently for combined classes and lectures during daytime hours. “It has the same teaching technology behind the lectern as do our other academic facilities of similar size, such as the teaching theater in the Franklin W. Olin Building and the amphitheater in the Roger Milliken Science Center,” Wood said.

Dunlap praised the improved acoustics and said that the college eagerly anticipated using the McMillan Theater for small concerts such as the Troubadour Guitar Series and chamber music performed by the Wofford string ensemble.

The NFL Carolina Panthers, who eat their meals in the Campus Life Building, are also expected to use the McMillan Theater during their summer training camps, and Wood acknowledged the team’s financial contribution to the renovation project.

W. Allen Schulte from CDAI Integrated Technical Solutions in Atlanta designed the room system as a consultant. SCI Electronics in Greenville, SC, provided and installed the system. The company has installed 95 percent of the technology systems on the Wofford campus over the past decade.