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Texas Tech Receives $10 Million Gift from Talkington Foundation

College of Visual & Performing Arts

The College of Visual & Performing Arts at Texas Tech offers a diverse array of programs and courses in art, music, theatre and dance.

The college seeks to prepare students who will be leaders in the profession by employing the highest standards in performance, teaching, research, and artistic and creative vision.

The college includes the:

The gift will support academic and research advancements in the College of Visual & Performing Arts. 

August 12, 2016 | Contact Dailey Fuller

Officials from the Texas Tech University System and the J.T. & Margaret Talkington Charitable Foundation today (Aug. 12) announced a $10 million gift to Texas Tech University. 

The gift will support academic and research advancements in the College of Visual & Performing Arts and bolster ongoing efforts to enhance the arts. 

Chancellor Robert Duncan shared the news during a meeting of the Board of Regents, noting the Talkingtons' meaningful history of philanthropic support to the Texas Tech University System. 

“The generosity of J.T. and Margaret knows no bounds,” Duncan said. “Words cannot express how grateful we are for this incredible gift, which is in many ways the capstone of their longstanding commitment to supporting the arts at Texas Tech. Great universities are inspired and enhanced by the arts, and the arts continue to thrive at Texas Tech because of the Talkingtons' sustained philanthropy.” 

Addressing immediate needs, the gift will provide critical funding for the expansion and renovation of research and academic facilities at the Charles E. Maedgen Jr. Theatre. The project will transform teaching, research and performance spaces, increase the building’s footprint and bring together faculty and students in one location for added interdisciplinary opportunities.  

The gift also will be eligible for matching funds and incentives, strengthening its impact on the college, university and the Lubbock arts community.

“Two of J.T. and Margaret’s strongest passions were the arts and Texas Tech,” said Norton Baker, president of the J.T. & Margaret Talkington Charitable Foundation board of directors. “Both are immensely connected and play a significant role in making this community an extraordinary place to live and work. We are proud to share this gift that will honor the Talkingtons' legacy and have a lasting impact on Texas Tech and Lubbock.”  

A mainstay for the College of Visual & Performing Arts, the Maedgen Theatre building supports many forms of the arts and is integral to the overall learning environment. In addition to hosting more than a dozen productions a year, students and faculty throughout the college utilize the facility to learn, discover and hone their skills. 

The Maedgen Theatre building also serves as a cultural gateway for the arts and the Lubbock community, holding performances and offering outreach programs for more than 7,000 patrons each year. 

“The College of Visual & Performing Arts has made significant contributions to the arts community across Lubbock, the South Plains and world, thanks to many talented and dedicated faculty, staff and students, and supporters like the Talkingtons,” Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec said. “The talent is evident from the stages of local community theatre and art exhibits to the storied halls of New York, Paris and Rome. We are grateful for this generous gift and investment in our university’s future.”  

Formed in 2002, the College of Visual & Performing Arts supports the rich history of the arts in West Texas and the nation through its School of Art, School of Music and School of Theatre & Dance. Educating more than 1,100 students annually, the college is home to industry-leading faculty and graduates internationally-renowned artists, performers and teachers. Texas Tech is the only public university in the state with accreditation in all four of its programs in visual art, dance, music and theatre. 

“This support from the J.T. & Margaret Talkington Charitable Foundation marks a historic milestone for the Texas Tech University College of Visual & Performing Arts,” said Interim Dean Andrew Martin. “It is an affirmation of the importance of the arts to a top research university and the communities we serve.” 

“This gift recognizes the impressive professional accomplishments in art, music, theatre and dance of our students, faculty and alumni,” added Noel Zahler, who will begin as dean of the college this fall semester. “It underscores the importance of the arts to Lubbock. The gift is a tribute to the legacy of its founders and represents the future of the college. We are profoundly grateful for the immeasurable benefit it provides.” 

The J.T. & Margaret Talkington Charitable Foundation was established in 1997 to honor the history of the couple’s philanthropy and dedication to the city of Lubbock. Through their foundation and personal giving, the Talkingtons have supported multiple initiatives throughout the Texas Tech University System.