By Mike Greife, March 14, 2016
WARRENSBURG, MO – With a focus on the future of the arts at the University of Central Missouri, the university will host A Day A Giving for the Arts March 29. The event will offer an opportunity for alumni and friends of the arts at UCM to be part of an exciting future for Hendricks Hall, UCM’s historic performance venue. Funds raised though the campaign will be directed toward the ongoing improvement of the 1,400-seat auditorium.
A Day of Giving for the Arts will be initiated on March 29 with the performance by UCM’s music students and faculty at the annual President’s Gala in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. The 24-hour period beginning with the March 29 gala has been designated an opportunity for the many supporters of the arts at UCM to come forward with support for continuing the renovation project.
“The opportunity to preserve and improve a grand facility such as Hendricks Hall, which holds rich memories for thousands of alumni, community members and friends, is one to be embraced,” said Gersham Nelson, dean of the UCM College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. “The message we have received so far is overwhelmingly in support of our effort to preserve this historic facility.”
Donations to A Day of Giving for the Arts may be made through the UCM Alumni Foundation. By accessing the website ucm-foundation.everydayhero.do, individual donations may be made, or fundraising teams may be formed for greater impact. The goal of the campaign is to receive a response from 3,000 donors. Individuals may call in pledges or contribution during the 24-hour Day of Giving to 660-543-4179, email a commitment to email@example.com, or mail a contribution to Day of Giving for the Arts, Smiser Alumni Center, UCM, Warrensburg Mo. 64093.
The first stages of the renovation of Hendricks Hall have been completed. New stage curtains have been hung, and a new lighting system has been installed. The next phase of the renovation will involve restoration of the ceiling of Hendricks Hall to its original grandeur, extending the stage apron to accommodate large ensembles and the orchestra, and installation of state-of-the-art sound and projection systems.
“At some point several decades ago an acoustic tile ceiling was installed,” Nelson explained. “The ornate original moldings, cornices and medallions are still there, but they need to be restored. With materials now available, that can be accomplished while preserving, and even improving, the acoustical qualities of the auditorium.”
Dedicated in October 1923, Hendricks Hall was built with an appropriation of $150,000 from the Missouri State Legislature. Designed by architect Samuel Hitt and built by Marxer Construction Company of Des Moines, Iowa, the then state-of-the art auditorium featured ornate moldings and cornices surrounding windows and the large proscenium stage. These architectural features remain a part of the auditorium today.
In 1933 the Central Missouri State Teachers College Board of Regents approved the naming of the auditorium in honor of Eldo L. Hendricks, who served as college president from 1915 to 1937. Throughout the generations, the facility has served as a venue for musical and theatrical productions, along with the convocations and guest speakers who have visited the campus. Hendricks Hall also has served, and continues to serve, the cultural and educational needs of the surrounding community since its construction.