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Updated 2:30 PM September 19, 2005




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Regents name Charles R. Walgreen, Jr. Drama Center

The Board of Regents Sept. 15 approved a resolution to name the Charles R. Walgreen, Jr. Drama Center. The name acknowledges the support of Walgreen, who provided $10 million toward construction of the new facility on North Campus—a commitment that was the kernel around which the successful fund-raising efforts for a new facility for the School of Music grew.

As the school celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, construction continues on the facility that will house the 250-seat Arthur Miller Theatre and also will be home to the Department of Theatre and Drama and University Productions. It will feature classrooms, rehearsal spaces, a scene shop, costume shop, sound studio and faculty offices.

The 97,500 gross square feet, two-story center is under construction just north of Pierpont Commons at the corner of Murfin Avenue and Bonisteel Boulevard at the entry to North Campus. Kuwabara Payne McKenna and Blumberg Architects designed the facility, which is scheduled to be completed during the summer of 2007.

"Charles Walgreen's long-standing support of the University is well known," President Mary Sue Coleman says. "His gift in support of a new drama center demonstrates his foresight and his faith in U-M. The Walgreen Drama Center will be a testament to performance, creativity and talent, and we are pleased to honor the Walgreen family with this naming."

The Walgreen family is a longtime supporter of U-M through contributions for several professorships, endowed scholarships, facilities and programs in the College of Pharmacy and music school.

Walgreen earned three degrees from U-M—one from the College of Pharmacy in 1928, an honorary master of science in 1951 and an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 1992. He has been active in professional, civic and educational areas, serving on several national professional and educational committees, associations and boards and a volunteer leader at the College of Pharmacy.

Charles Walgreen, Jr. assumed responsibility for the Walgreen Company as a young man following the early death of his father, and cultivated it into an innovative force in American pharmacy, health care and commerce. A pioneer in the concept of self-service drug stores with separate prescription pharmacies, Walgreen developed the retail enterprise into a 600-store chain.

"The Walgreen Drama Center will take us an important step closer to realizing the long-held dream of the performing arts together in one location and community," says Christopher Kendall, dean of the School of Music. "This proximity will create a dynamic environment for interdisciplinary and artistic collaborations among the various disciplines of the school. It will also provide new vitality to the culture of North Campus.

"Without Mr. Walgreen's early commitment, and the commitment of other School of Music supporters that his gift inspired, this project may never have come to fruition. We look forward with great anticipation to our occupancy of this beautiful new space in 2007," he says.

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