CFCC receives record $1.5M donation to performing arts center

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The donation will support CFCC's Fine Arts and Humanities Center, which houses a 1,560-seat auditorium and three floors of instructional space for visual and performing arts students. Courtesy image.
The donation will support CFCC’s Fine Arts and Humanities Center, which houses a 1,560-seat auditorium and three floors of instructional space for visual and performing arts students. Courtesy image.

Although their names might not ring bells in Hollywood, Allan and Laura Wilson are superstars to students and staff at Cape Fear Community College.

The couple—longtime supporters of CFCC—recently gave $1.5 million to the college’s newly opened Humanities and Fine Arts Center. It’s the largest single contribution in the college’s history, according to a CFCC spokeswoman. Following the donation, the venue has been renamed the Allan and Laura Wilson Humanities and Fine Arts Center.

The Wilsons’ philanthropic relationship with the local community college spans back to 1999, when they established an endowed scholarship for second-year students from Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender counties.

“The Wilson family has been an important fixture in our community for decades. [They] have given so much to our city, and they continue to be an integral part of our community’s success. We are honored that they have chosen to support the students of Cape Fear Community College with their gift,” CFCC president Amanda Lee said.

In addition to the 1,560-seat performance hall, the center—funded as part of a 2008 bond referendum—houses the college’s Humanities and Fine Arts Department.

The building has three floors of art space, computer and photography labs, a working scene shop, a recording studio and private rehearsal spaces, among other features. There is also an outdoor courtyard for smaller performances that can accommodate a 600-person audience.

“Nearly every curriculum student at CFCC takes a class in the center, and tens of thousands of community members have already attended sell-out performances at the facility,” CFCC Board of Trustees chairman William Turner said. “With this gift we can continue to offer world-class education and entertainment opportunities for years to come.”

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