A! Magazine for the Arts

Martin achieves $5 million in support with additional $1 million gift

November 12, 2012

JOHNSON CITY – When an author writes a bestselling book or a producer markets a movie that is a box office smash, a sequel is often in order. That same principle of success is present for the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts at East Tennessee State University. Recently James C. Martin has added his own "sequel" to his prior generous support as he has given another $1 million to continue the positive growth and momentum for the MBMSOTA. This latest chapter in Martin's giving brings his total support to date to $5 million for the MBMSOTA through the ETSU Foundation.

As Martin has continued to invest in the arts as a visionary philanthropist, his support has created impressive results with an eclectic range of arts events and artists for the campus and beyond. Whether the events are jazz fusion,film documentaries, "lost" films, the ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band with renowned Nashville performers, storytellers, flamenco dancers, photography, lectures, or the theatre, the far-ranging spectrum of events and artists serves and kindles a diversity of interests. This artistic array also encourages collaborative partnerships among artists and other organizations on the campus and around the region.

Noting the success of the MBMSOTA since its establishment in January 2009, Anita DeAngelis, the school's director and associate dean of the ETSU college of arts and sciences, said "It is remarkable to have a donor such as Jim Martin to grasp the importance of the contributions that artists and creative thinkers make for society. Jim wants to support high levels of creativity, invention and discovery, and the school at ETSU is a significant part of the effort to ensure the presence of the arts in the community. I am grateful for Jim's continued support and encouragement to honor Mary B. Martin's legacy for the arts."

"Mary was a remarkable woman as she was so multi-talented, beautiful, blonde, smart, witty, extroverted, and I still miss her," Martin said. "My support for the Mary B. Martin School for the Arts carries forth Mary's legacy that recognizes and appreciates her unquenchable interest in the diverse forms of the arts. I believe Mary would be pleased with the success of the school to date for our students, faculty, and also for the tapestry of local arts-oriented institutions that can collaborate with the school to deliver an influential presence for the arts," Martin explains.

Both the Martins were chemists, but they made room in their lives for the arts as well. "When we expect U.S. scientists to create miracles of invention and to lead the world in these activities, they may be ill-equipped to do this,"Martin said. "The arts create a diversity of thinkers, both "left-and right-brainers.' My gifts for the school in Mary's memory represent my efforts to also balance the scales and create more "whole-brain thinkers.'"

ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland said, "For Jim Martin's outstanding philanthropy yesterday, today, and tomorrow for the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, I am deeply grateful on behalf of the entire ETSU community. It is such a personal privilege to work with Mr. Martin, be energized by his vision for the arts, and share in the story of Mary's legacy. He is truly making an impact at ETSU and across our region."

Commenting on this fifth gift of $1 million, Dr. Richard A. Manahan, Vice President for University Advancement and President/CEO of the ETSU Foundation, stated, "Jim Martin is truly a champion for what's so good about philanthropy at ETSU. He is such a joy to work with for all he does in the ETSU community and our region, and he continues to inspire us to grasp and implement his view and vision of the arts to better our world. We are very grateful for all the chapters he continues to write for Mary's life and legacy as her devotion for the arts lives on at ETSU."

For more information regarding the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts and future events, visit www.etsu.edu/cas/arts and for tickets call 423-439-8587. For more information regarding gifts to support the mission of the school, contact the Office of University Advancement at (423) 439-4242 or visit www.etsu.edu/advance.