Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts announced its donation of $50,000 as an endowed scholarship to the Boise State Department of Theatre Arts on Sept. 24. James Patrick, the executive director of the Morrison Center, described how the success of the Department of Theatre Arts is important to the Morrison Center.
“It’s a very symbiotic relationship between the shows that we put on for the public and the relationship between the students working for us and supporting our mission,” Patrick said.
Each year the Morrison Center employs many Boise State students to work backstage on productions.
On Sept. 22 of this year there was a celebration ceremony held to honor the life of Velma V. Morrison, who passed away last June.
“This was part of the timing of it,” Patrick said. “It’s really kind of important that we have it in her name. Morrison herself was a strong advocate for education.”
This strong passion for education was displayed through out her life.
“Education and working with students was critical for her,” said Carole Whiteleather, the outreach and education director at the Morrison Center. “The number one thing that we are trying to do here, with a scholarship of this nature, is to honor her as well.”
As an endowed fund the scholarship will live on indefinitely.
The interest built up from the money each year will then be handed out as an annual scholarship. However, there is still room for the scholarship to grow.
“The hope also is that other people contribute to it and it starts to build,” Patrick said.
The scholarship is anticipated to be available to students this spring semester.
This scholarship will be available to any Boise State junior or senior theatre arts major who maintains a GPA of 3.0 and, preferably, has worked or will work in the Morrison Center. Which students will be chosen for the scholarship will be a collaborative decision between Patrick and Richard Klautsch, the chair of the theatre arts department.
“We know our students’ classwork, their work on our productions, but we don’t always know what kind of employees they are next door,” Klautsch said.
Klautsch would like the money to be shared among two or three of their best students who are active theatre arts majors.
Every year, usually between January and March, the theatre arts department holds an audition day for students who wish to apply for scholarships. The students sign up for a ten-minute slot to be interviewed by Klautsch and several faculty members. Students must bring in (or perform) works that relate to their concentration.
“If a student is interested in performance, then they’re going to audition for us,” Klautsch said.
This season at the Morrison Center, all Fred Meyer Broadway In Boise events, except for “Wicked,” will have discounted ticket prices for students.