Major gifts support campus improvements at Centenary

SHREVEPORT, LA — Two popular locations on the Centenary campus received a major facelift this spring and summer thanks to generous donations from the Women’s Endowment Quorum (WEQ) and an anonymous private donor. Upgrades to the Hargrove Memorial Amphitheater (the “Shell”) and the Hurley School of Music will benefit Centenary students, faculty, and staff as well as many community members who enjoy these spaces.

Work began in the early spring on a new half-circle drive at the main entrance of the Hurley School of Music on Woodlawn Avenue. Vehicles are now able to load and unload near the front door, and a new sloped ramp provides ADA compliance and makes the building more accessible. Previously, students and community members visiting Hurley had to negotiate both a narrow sidewalk and a steep set of stairs. A generous private donor provided funding to support this improvement that benefits Centenary faculty and staff along with students at the Centenary Suzuki School and visitors coming to Hurley for concerts, lectures, and other special events.

The Women's Endowment Quorum (WEQ) has contributed more than one million dollars to Centenary College since its founding in 1985. Membership is open to community members who believe in the vital mission of the College. The WEQ designated over $115,000 to the renovation of the Shell, a project recommended through the recently completed campus master plan and endorsed by the student community.

Funding provided by the WEQ allowed for the removal of all but the lower bowl of concrete benches in the Shell. In their place, the slope was leveled to be more gradual and covered with sod to provide lawn-style seating. The remaining concrete benches can seat several hundred participants, while the lawn offers a more flexible area for a variety of uses by students, faculty, staff, and the Shreveport-Bossier City community.

The WEQ project has helped transform the Shell from an underutilized campus asset to a highly functional learning and social space. Several Centenary professors are already taking advantage of the Shell as an outdoor classroom, one of several outdoor spaces serving this function as part of the College’s safe reopening plan during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Centenary community is so grateful for the wonderful philanthropy provided by those who believe in the mission of the College,” says Fred Landry, vice president for development. “We are so grateful for the support and investment to make these major campus improvements a reality for the benefit of our students, professors, friends and the larger Centenary and Shreveport-Bossier community.”


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