Center for the Performing Arts receives $50,000 endowment

University Park, Pa. — The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State will have an additional funding source for the 2009–2010 season thanks to a State College couple’s establishment of the $50,000 John L. Brown Jr. and Marlynn Steele Sidehamer Endowment.
John L. Brown Jr. and Marlynn “Lynn” Sidehamer, a couple for 31 years and members of the Center for the Performing Arts at the Leadership Circle level, created the endowment to support programming by their performing arts “family” and to ensure the contribution would last for more than one year.
"We wanted to do an endowment now so we both could be a part of it," Sidehamer said. "This has become a family for us, so why wouldn’t we want our money here?"
Brown, a Penn State professor emeritus of electrical engineering, retired in 1987 after more than 36 years of teaching. Sidehamer, also retired, was a public school teacher and administrator in the Pittsburgh area before becoming an administrator in Penn State’s College of Education.
The couple met in 1978 when Sidehamer was a graduate student and Brown a faculty member. From the beginning of their relationship, they attended presentations at Eisenhower Auditorium. “We both love music, and we both love theater,” she said.
Center for the Performing Arts administrators value the endowment as a gift that will keep on giving, said Director George Trudeau.
"I’m thrilled with John and Lynn’s generous gift," Trudeau said. "Because of that gift, there will always be performances of world-class artists here at the Center for the Performing Arts associated with their names. Personally, I can’t think of a greater legacy."
For more information about the endowment or to contribute to it, contact Dave Shaffer, assistant director for special programs, at (814) 863-1167.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009