The Tarble Foundation, a longtime supporter of the arts at Eastern Illinois University, has given another $2.5 million to help fund programming at the new Doudna Fine Arts Center, scheduled to open this fall.
The money, along with earlier gifts from the Tarbles and other generous donors, brings total funding for EIU's New and Emerging Artists Series to its goal of $7.5 million. The series will help the new Doudna facility stand out by bringing in artists who challenge the boundaries and conventions of traditional art, music, theatre arts and creative writing.
"This continuing support from the Tarble Foundation will allow Eastern Illinois University to fulfill its dream of bringing additional gifted artists to our campus," said EIU President Bill Perry. "This will be yet another way in which the university can offer its students enhanced learning opportunities, while also bringing fine arts programming and outreach opportunities to the citizens of east-central Illinois and beyond."
Through the years, the Tarble family has donated more than $11 million to benefit the arts at the university; this makes them the most giving family in EIU's history.
"I speak for the entire university when I express my deep appreciation for the generosity of the entire Tarble family," Perry said. "Their support over the years has been overwhelming."
The family's benevolence began with Newton E. Tarble, whose dream was to "take the arts to the people." Mr. Tarble, an Eastern alumnus and co-founder of Snap-On Tools, and his wife, Pat, provided funding for the construction of the Tarble Arts Center and its addition, enhancements and programs.
Their daughter, Jan Tarble of Los Angeles, has continued her late parents' giving legacy. She believes it was a fitting way to honor her parents, whom she has said would be "enthusiastic" about the new fine arts center and the activities planned there.
"Jan Tarble's contributions to the arts at EIU and east-central Illinois have been singular," said James K. Johnson, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. "Her most recent gift carries on the very proud Tarble family tradition of expanding the reach of the arts and arts programming beyond the campus to the larger community. Her generosity has touched thousands of lives and, with this gift, will continue to touch even thousands more long into the future."
In addition to bringing in new artists, the New and Emerging Artist Series is to include regularly scheduled symposia on the topic of "Creativity and the Creative Process," drawing from disciplines as disparate as mathematics, art, physics, music, family and consumer sciences, history, business, philosophy and athletics.
The entire series will promote the concept of "relationship-driven education" at Eastern by allowing visiting artists to present master classes for a personal learning experience.
It is also expected to draw in students, especially those working in new art forms not yet served by existing programs elsewhere.
Vaughn Jaenike, dean emeritus of the College of Fine Arts, praised all of the behind-the-scenes individuals involved with turning the Tarbles' funds into worthwhile endeavors.
"For the sequence of gifts to have continued through three decades is testimony to the extent the Tarbles have been impressed by what their support has helped to bring about," Jaenike said.
In 1995, Newton, Pat and Jan Tarble were named to Eastern Illinois University 's Centennial 100 listing of the most significant individuals who had contributed to the success of the university through its first 100 years.
The Tarble family was also named "Outstanding Philanthropist" by the EIU Foundation in 1993 and 2002.
In 1975, Mr. Tarble was presented an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Eastern and, two years earlier, was named a distinguished alumnus. Jan Tarble received an honorary degree from EIU in 2007.