THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls State University announced a $1 million donation from the Mary and Al Danos Family Foundation to support the newly renovated Danos Theater and the academic programs that benefit from it.
The last wishes of the Mary and Al, the theater’s benefactors and longtime supporters, the donation will be drawn out over four years.
“A generous donation of this size means we’ll be able to continue to provide to the community exactly what Mary and Al Danos had envisioned,” said Nicholls President Bruce Murphy.
The four Danos children – Rene, Alyce, Andre and Marcel – presented the check during the grand reopening of the 5,500-square-foot, 240-seat theater, named in honor of their parents, and Talbot Hall. Nicholls students and faculty were featured during the event, titled an Opening Night Showcase of the Arts, with performances by the Nicholls Concert Choir, Jazz Band and Nicholls Players.
“Our dad always had everything planned and prepared. Even in his passing, he wanted to make sure this theater was taken care of. Our parents would be really proud of this,” the Danos family said. “This will forever be a special place in our hearts to remember everything they’ve done. We can’t thank Nicholls, Sen. Chabert and the community enough.”
A Larose businessman and leader on the Nicholls Foundation board, Al Danos initiated interest in the project by helping fundraise $1.5 million for the renovation of the theater, which first opened in 1971. State Senator and Nicholls alum Norby Chabert helped secure the remaining funds through the state and the project expanded to include the 73,000-square-foot facility.
“If there’s one thing Al and Mary had an appreciation for, it’s the performing arts,” Chabert said. “I join them and their family, for thanking the Nicholls community for making this possible.”
Renovations feature structural and technological enhancements including new seating, curtains, flooring and state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment. In addition, the campus TV studio, KNSU radio station and two Talbot Hall classrooms received technological upgrades to enhance student learning. Those upgrades will allow the university to broadcast athletic events through ESPN3 starting in the spring.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 28, 2016
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