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join nowMembership dates: September 1, 2015-August 31, 2016

When you join Friends, you join an exclusive group of people who are committed to supporting students who are pursuing degrees in the arts and communication. Your support helps students pay their tuition, travel to competitions and conferences,and participate in unique learning opportunities.

For your support, you receive special benefits and privileges that allow
you to be "front and center" when experiencing the arts and communication
on the Texas State University campus.

To learn more about Friends, select the options below. 

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Member Benefits

As a member of the Friends of Fine Arts and Communication, we are pleased to do the following for you:

  • Recognition in all performance programs, advertisements, and website
  • “Front & Center” events including attending open rehearsals and post-production “meet and greet” with performers and directors/conductors
  • Annual Donor Appreciation event
  • Green Room “VIP Wine and Cheese Intermission Receptions”* 
  • Wine and Hors d’oeuvres Pre-Show Events (for select theatre/recital events)
  • Opportunities to visit classes within the College of Fine Arts & Communication
  • Preferred seating at special events
  • Join the Friends on annual international trips*
  • Guided tours of new Performing Arts Center
  • Art gallery openings, Piersol Lecture Series, and educational seminars

         *These benefits available to Silver Friends and above


Membership Levels

The base membership begins at $100. Prices and benefits are the same for both personal and business memberships.

  • Bronze — Starting at $100
    Includes 4 tickets per membership year.
  • Silver — Starting at $250
    Includes 8 event tickets per membership year.
  • Gold — Starting at $500
    Includes 12 tickets per membership year.
  • Platinum — Starting at $1,000
    Includes 16 tickets per membership year.
  • Emerald — Starting at $5,000
    Includes 40 tickets per membership year.
  • Diamond — Starting at $10,000
    Includes 100 tickets per membership year.

*Membership Benefits of complimentary tickets are good for all College events—music, theatre, dance and art unless designated as a fund-raiser and do not apply to the Encore Performing Arts Series.


What Your Membership Does

Friends of Fine Arts and Communication members’ financial contributions fund a variety of projects for the College.

  • The Dr. Lesley Jones and Maude Ogle Scholarships are presented to two outstanding students in the College.  These $1,000 scholarships are recognition of academic achievement and service to the College.  The runners-up all receive $500 scholarships.  The Jones and Ogle scholarships honor two long-time Friends.
  • The J. Ralph Harrell Award is presented to outstanding seniors in each of the College’s departments and schools. The award is named for the former Dean of the College, who initiated the Friends organization.
  • The Bob and Sunny Sappington Student Travel Award provides funds for students who need assistance to travel to competitions, seminars and workshops, and performances related to their course of student. This award honors the first president of the organization.

Why supporting the Arts and Communication is important to Central Texas

Time magazine recently documented the benefits a community receives from those who work in the arts:

  • Arts are good for local merchants. Arts travelers are ideal tourists. The typical arts attendee spends $24.60 per person, per event, not including the cost of admission on items such as meals and parking.
  • Arts are an Industry. Arts programs generate $135 billion in economic activity annually. Investment in the arts generates tax revenues, promotes tourism, and advances our creativity-based economy.
  • Stronger communities. A high concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, and ensures that young people are not left to be raised solely in a pop culture and tabloid marketplace.
  • Building the 21st Century workforce. Creativity is among the top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders. The biggest creativity indicator? A college arts degree.

History of Friends

The Friends of Fine Arts and Communication group has grown and changed over the past 30 years. In 1979, then Dean of the School of Creative Arts, Dr. Ralph Harrel and San Marcos resident Maude Ogle worked together to establish a local group of fine arts patrons who were committed in supporting the university's performing arts programs. Dr. Harrel served as the Dean from 1971 – 1985 and was instrumental in pursuing the vision of the original idea. Maude and her husband Bob Ogle, a retired faculty member from the University of Chicago, had recently moved to San Marcos from the Chicago area where she worked as a piano teacher. Maude loved the arts and worked hand in hand with Dean Harrel in establishing the link with then SWT and local community. The original group was at first called the "Dean's List," they each agreed to pay a basic fee of $15.00 to go towards an endowment placed in the Dean's discretionary fund. This fund was to be used for scholarships within the School of Fine Arts, for the benefit of worthy students. In 1980 the group officially became known as the "Friends" organization. This charter included 102 founding members. Their goal was to promote the arts both locally and at the university, and to build an endowment fund for university students. In 1985, Dr. T. Richard Cheatham was appointed as the Dean of the School of Fine Arts & Communication. The group "Friends" again took a new name, becoming the "SWT Friends of Fine Arts" and by 1987 Dean Cheatham established the first board of directors and by-laws. In 1989, "Communication" was added to the Friends title. In 1993, Dean Cheatham and the Friends group organized elections establishing the first state of independently elected officers. Bob Sappington was elected the first president of the newly reconstituted Friends group. Since then, both Bob Sappington and Dr. Peter Coulson have each served two terms as president. When the university officially changed its name to Texas State University, the "Friends" group officially dropped SWT from its name and became known simply as the Friends of Fine Arts & Communication. Today the Friends group has grown to well over 450 members with an endowment valued at over $75,000.00 and continues to provide scholarships for our students and faculty within the College of Fine Arts & Communication.

Founding Friends

Friends of Fine Arts and Communication wish to thank the following founders:

Balsora Anderson
Kay Banning
James & Hazel Barton
Dr. & Mrs. William Bechtol
J. Fredric Bell
James & Barbaranne Benjamin
Caroline Benjamine
Roger & Barbara Bennett
Ron & Alberta Birk
George & Shirley Boemerman
Alice M. Bourque
Chris Brasher
Jim & Gerry Braden
Lenore K. Brieger
Irma L. Bruce
Ada P. Burke
Yvonne Carroll
Mr. & Mrs. W. C. Carson
Dr. & Mrs. Richard Cheatham
Rex W. Cole
Frances & Edith Coleman
Mr. & Mrs. P. R. Connally
Katherine Costley
Dana Craft
Nancy O. Croft
Willis & Mary Cude
Mr. & Mrs. W. H. Daniels
Maurice J. Erickson
Sheila Fling
William L. Fly
Mrs. Elinor Claire Frank
Mr. & Mrs. John E. Garstka
George & Bobbie Gilbert
Diana Ginsburg
Bob & Ann Glaves
Dr. & Mrs. Joel Goldman
Dr. & Mrs. Robert Gratz
Nancy Grayson
Carole Greer
Susan R. Griffith
Dr. & Mrs. John Guemple
Virginia P. Hardin
Mrs. Sue W. Harmon
Ralph & Doris Harrel
Douglas & Henrietta Harris
Hays County Abstract Co. (Zeb H. Fitzgerald, President)
Dr. & Mrs. Arlis Hiebert
Ralph & Francys Houston
Lee Hudman
Dr. Charles Hundley
Mary G. Hunter
Herbert E. Johnson
Betty Kissler
Jean B. Laman
James & Tonda Langabeer
Paul A. Leche
Dr. & Mrs. Ken Long
Rebecca C. Lowman
Ruth Manske
Mrs. Edythe H. Margerison
Mrs. George N. Martindale
Don & Kathy Matlock
Dr. & Mrs. Michael H. McBride
Celia Morgan
James Bert Neely
Rollo & Sylvia Newsom
Dr. Erik Nielsen
Ann G. Noey
Bob & Brita Northcutt
Dr. & Mrs. Robert B.Ogle
Mrs. Reed B. Parr
Mickie Pate
Charles E. Paul
LaViece Pauling
Steven & Sandra Peters
Darrell & Barbara Piersol
Mr. & Mrs. R. J. Pollard
Mr. & Mrs. Walter Preston
Mr. & Mrs. Roberto Provencio
Laura L. Ramsay
Paula Renfro
Dr. Martha Reynolds
Cliff J. & Denise Ronan
Brian Row
Charlotte Scott
Carrie Sheperd
Dr. Gwen Smith
Dr. & Mrs. Leon Sowell
Ernest L. & J. Louise Stephens
Dr. & Mrs. Alfred Sullivan
Mrs. Delight Tassin
Dr. Robert D. & Elizabeth Turpin
Charles & Allene von Henner
Max & Hiroko Warshauer
Dr. & Mrs. Jack Weatherford
Mr. & Mrs. Wilfred D. Webb
Brig. Gen.(retired) & Mrs. Joseph E. Wesp
Roy & Ruth Willbern
M. Lee Williams
Marvin L. Wine
Robbie Wiley Zunker

From original document / founding members art work dated December 31, 1984


For assistance, please contact Kevin D. Gilley in the College of Fine Arts & Communication at 512.245.9170.