The directors of the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation, Inc. have awarded a $500,000 grant to Seton Hill University in support of its University Center for the Performing Arts project in downtown Greensburg. As of today, the project has achieved gifts and pledges that total $19.3 million toward the projected $21 million goal.

“We are excited about this new facility that will bring Seton Hill into the heart of the Greensburg cultural district,” said Linda McKenna Boxx, Chairman of the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation. She added, “We appreciate the time and care that Seton Hill spent planning this new building to be practical and sensitive to the surrounding architecture in the city.”

“We are grateful for the continued leadership support of the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation, and their significant endorsement of this project,” said JoAnne Boyle, Seton Hill President. “The Foundation’s unwavering commitment to Seton Hill is more than noteworthy. Leadership support from the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation has helped Seton Hill initiate graduate programs, restore and renovate the Administration Building, and construct the Katherine Mabis McKenna Recreation Center, a competitive facility for athletic, fitness and wellness activities on our campus. The Foundation’s most recent commitment will help Seton Hill provide much needed facilities for the University’s programs in theatre and music. The generosity of the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation continues to make a meaningful impact on the lives of Seton Hill students and the community at large.”

The Foundation’s grant for the University Center for the Performing Arts project comes at a pivotal time for Seton Hill according to Seton Hill Vice President for Institutional Advancement Christine Mueseler: “Completion of the University Center for the Performing Arts is an important next step in achieving Seton Hill’s strategic plan to double enrollments in the theatre and music programs. Since the announcement of this project, the programs have already seen an increase of enrollment of 40 students. With the University’s enrollment now approaching 2,000 students in all programs, the facility will have a major impact on our ability to recruit and retain talented students for the long term.” She added, "This very generous grant from the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation has also served to spur the momentum of the campaign. With this important gift, we are confident we will reach the $21 million goal to complete this effort."

The Seton Hill University Center for the Performing Arts will bring two of Seton Hill’s most vibrant programs – theatre and music – into the heart of the city of Greensburg, Pa. The Center - designed by MacLachlan Cornelius & Filoni Architects, Inc. to complement the historic architecture of the surrounding buildings - will also serve as the completing piece of Greensburg’s Cultural District, with the Westmoreland Museum of American Art at one corner and Seton Hill University at the other, linked by the historic Palace Theatre, the restored Greensburg Train Station, cafes, restaurants and bookstores. Once completed, the 73,000 square foot center will include a flexible theatre, music hall, rehearsal spaces, set and costume design rooms, classrooms, and faculty offices for Seton Hill’s programs in music and theatre. The University Center project is the result of a collaboration among the City of Greensburg, the Redevelopment Authority of Westmoreland County, the Greensburg Salem School District, local legislators, and the Westmoreland Cultural Trust. As of December 2007, the University Center for the Performing Arts Campaign, chaired by Michele and Tom Ridge and Anne and Jack Robertshaw, has achieved more than $19.3 million toward its projected $21 million goal. Massaro Corporation began construction in August 2007, with a projected completion date of spring 2009.