$400,000 Earmarked for University Center for the Performing Arts

Seton Hill Board Chair Michele Moore Ridge announced April 27 that Seton Hill University has received a $400,000 gift from First Commonwealth Bank. The commitment will be earmarked for the University Center for the Performing Arts project in downtown Greensburg.

The gift brings the University’s current campaign for the University Center for the Performing Arts project to the $13.9 million mark and will create the First Commonwealth Music Wing on the street level of the facility.

Music for the community will be a focal point of Seton Hill’s new Center, which will host the activities of the Westmoreland Symphonic Winds, chamber music performances of the Westmoreland Symphony, and the Seton Hill Community Music Program.

“The First Commonwealth Music Wing will provide Seton Hill students and students from the community-at-large with a technologically enhanced and beautiful space to study their craft,” said Michele Ridge. “We are grateful for this significant and early vote of confidence from First Commonwealth. The Bank has been a loyal and dedicated friend to Seton Hill for a number of years. This commitment will be of tremendous value as we work to engage others in our project,” Ridge added.

“First Commonwealth is delighted that many of the community music programs initiated by Seton Hill faculty and on Seton Hill’s campus will be brought to downtown Greensburg. Our board of directors is pleased to sponsor the Community Music Wing within the Center for the Performing Arts. We recognize that our support will help Seton Hill educate the more than 250 students currently enrolled in community music and community arts programming,” said David Dahlmann, Chairman, First Commonwealth Financial. Mr. Dahlmann added, “Seton Hill’s plans for its University Center for the Performing Arts coincide with the City of Greensburg’s desire to complete a downtown cultural district. Everyone at First Commonwealth is excited to be part of this dynamic endeavor.”

The Seton Hill University Center for the Performing Arts is a 73,000 square-foot, projected $20 million performing arts center that will include a music hall and flexible theatre as well as workshops, rehearsal spaces, classrooms and faculty offices. When completed, the Center will house the University’s premier programs in Theatre and Music and provide modern performing spaces for both. Seton Hill University has as its partners in this project the City of Greensburg, the County of Westmoreland, the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland, the Greensburg Salem School District, local legislators and the Westmoreland Cultural Trust.

This well-designed project and its strong community partnerships have garnered attention and support from all levels of government. An economic impact study completed by Mullin and Lonergan Associates projects that the University Center for the Performing Arts will generate more than 635 new jobs (permanent and temporary), over $7 million in total wages, over $350,000 in new state and local taxes and at least $1 million per year in visitor spending. It is expected that the construction project alone will add $10.6 million to the region in direct spending with an additional $7.7 million in indirect spending. The University Center for the Performing Arts will serve as the completing piece of the Cultural District envisioned by the City of Greensburg and Westmoreland County several years ago, with the Westmoreland Museum of American Art at one corner and Seton Hill at the other, linked by the Palace Theatre, the restored Greensburg Train Station, cafes, restaurants and bookstores.

To date, Seton Hill has raised $13.9 million for the University Center for the Arts project. This amount includes the leadership commitment of $400,000 from First Commonwealth.



Molly Robb Shimko, Seton Hill University Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement 724-830-4620 / shimko@setonhill.edu

Carson Greene, Jr., First Commonwealth Senior Vice President & Government & Community Relations Manager 724-464-1109 / cgreene@fcbanking.com