The arts at Oklahoma State University are getting a major boost.
Today, OSU President Burns Hargis announced a gift of $25 million from OSU alums Ross and Billie McKnight in support of programming the school’s new performing arts center.
Hargis says it takes more than just bricks and mortar to create a world-class university venue for performance art.
"What we want to do is not only present performances that will bring people to Stillwater to enjoy these kinds of things they might not be able to see anywhere else in our state, but also for our students to work with these artists and the combination of that is going to be fantastic. So, what the McKnights have done is kind of complete the picture."
Ross McKnight says that by endowing the programming of the new facility, students and the community will have the opportunity to experience some of America’s great orchestras.
"Whether you do it with New York or Philadelphia or San Francisco or Cleveland—what great orchestras that we now have the dollars to enhance a relationship, where not only the performances are going to enhance the culture but the opportunity that our students have to work with world class musicians will just be memorable."
Construction on the new 1,200 seat McKnight Center for the Performing Arts is set to begin this summer at the corner of University and Hester with completion by the fall of 2019.