The Peterson name is an honored one to friends of the arts at Mason. The family’s foundation has long supported endeavors such as Off the Wall and the Vocal Studies Enrichment Fund, and their commitment to help nurture young musicians continues to grow. On April 22, 2018, the university held a ceremony to name the Peterson Performing Arts Teaching Center in the Music/Theater Building in honor of two gifts: the Peterson Family Scholarship Endowment in the Vocal Arts and the Peterson Excellence Fund for the Arts.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the naming of the Peterson Performing Arts Teaching Center as a lasting legacy gift for music students at Mason,” said Dr. Linda Monson, director of the School of Music. “Inspired by Carolyn’s love of opera, the gift of music lives on through the generosity of the Peterson family. We are grateful beyond words.”
Two students shared their voice with the audience, each singing a movement from an opera. Crystal Golden, a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance, sang “Let the Bright Seraphim” from Samson by G.F. Handel. Seon Gyu Park, a Doctoral of Music Arts for Vocal Performance, sang “Donde Lieta Usci” from La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini. They were both accompanied by Dr. Eunae Ko Han on piano.
Rick Davis, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, credits Carolyn’s fondness for opera and Mason’s vocal studies program for building it into the signature calling card for the School of Music it is today, helping to attract students from across the country and around the world.
“It would not be grade inflation at all if we were to give the Peterson family an ‘A-plus’ for their long-term commitment to the arts at Mason,” said Davis. “Starting many years ago with Carolyn and Milt, and now continuing with the next generation, this group of wise and generous souls has made it possible for the arts to become established here and to grow in stature and excellence.”
May 1, 2018 / Christopher Bobo