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EDUCATION
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Chapman University banks $25 million gift from anonymous donor

Grant makes way for 1,300-seat performing arts center.

By Kristen SchottPublished: May 11, 2009 09:34 AM

Chapman University has received a $25 million anonymous challenge gift that paves the way for a new 1,300-seat performing arts center on the campus.

The grant was announced during the university's annual Sholund Scholarship Concert on Saturday, and it calls for Chapman to raise another $25 million to match it.

"We are very grateful that in the midst of this economy, there are visionary supporters of higher education who are making Chapman and the future of our students their priority," says Chapman President James Doti. He said the gift opens up a new era for the arts at the university.

The performing arts center is expected to cost about $50 million, and upon completion, it would be the largest university performing arts center in Orange County. It would also be second in size among all the halls in the region, falling behind only the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa.

The school is currently in the concept stages of design right now, but plans call for seating for 1,200 with an option to expand to 1,300 for performances without an orchestra pit. The center will also include rehearsal space for the more than 700 students enrolled in Chapman's College of Performing Arts.

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