$5 Million Gift to Support New Art Building

Largest Gift from Living Donors in College's 177-Year History

April 18, 2014

Sculpture studio in Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Knox College announced today that Dick '57 and Joan Whitney Whitcomb '56 have committed to be the lead donors for a new academic building for studio art and art history. Joan and Dick WhitcombThe $5 million gift from the Whitcombs is the largest gift from living donors in Knox College's 177-year history.

The new building for studio art and art history, which are currently housed within the Ford Center for the Fine Arts (CFA), will offer Knox faculty and students state-of-the-art spaces to study, create and exhibit art, as well as studios for faculty work and senior capstone projects.

"This facility will meet the needs of students and faculty for a beautiful, technologically innovative learning and working environment," said Knox College President Teresa Amott. Amott announced the gift to more than 200 prospective students and their families at the Admitted Student Day luncheon on Friday, April 18.

The College is currently selecting an architect and plans to begin the visioning and design for the new building later this spring.

"Today's announcement shows that Knox College can dream big and follow its heart with ambitious plans to advance the vital mission of the liberal arts," said President Amott.

Dick and Joan Whitcomb both majored in business administration at Knox, and Dick was the founder of Gypsum Management and Supply, the nation's largest independent distributor of specialty building materials. With this gift to Knox, they combine their love for their alma mater with their passion for the arts. At Knox, they have supported scholarship funds and the renovation of Alumni Hall. In their home town of Atlanta, they are long-time supporters of the arts, including the High Museum of Art and the Center for Puppetry and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia.

The announcement of this gift comes on the heels of last year's record-setting $17.8 million in donations during a single fiscal year and the successful completion of fundraising for Alumni Hall in just under two years. Construction on Alumni Hall began in September of last year, and the building is set to open in October 2014.

"No college president could ask for more loyal and generous alumni than Dick and Joan Whitcomb," said President Amott. "Their early support of the renovation of Alumni Hall built momentum for that highly successful fundraising initiative, and their continuing generosity will now provide the College with its first new academic building in four decades. I speak on behalf of the entire Knox community when I say that we are truly grateful for this new transformational gift."