Rigbys share Center for the Performing Arts 2013 Distinguished Service Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (Monday, April 15) —The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State has named State College couple Dotty and Paul Rigby, financial supporters and members of the fine arts presenter, recipients of its 2013 Distinguished Service Award. The Rigbys will be honored at an invitation-only dinner April 22 at The Atherton Hotel in downtown State College, Pa.

Two years ago the couple created a $150,000 charitable gift annuity that will provide equal support for the Center for the Performing Arts and Penn State’s Music at Penn’s Woods festival.

“I am so pleased to see Dotty and Paul Rigby receive this recognition given their long-standing and passionate interest and support for the Center for the Performing Arts,” said George Trudeau, director of the Center for the Performing Arts. “Their annual support through membership and sponsorship is extraordinary, and the endowment they established will ensure this legacy of support will continue in perpetuity. The Rigbys are great advocates for the Center for the Performing Arts, and their service on the center’s Community Advisory Council has been exemplary.”

The Rigbys are members at the Leadership Circle level and annually sponsor classical music presentations. Most recently, the couple sponsored the presentation of Germany’s Beethoven Orchestra Bonn with Canadian piano virtuoso Louis Lortie.

The couple served on the Center for the Performing Arts Community Advisory Council from 1994 to 2000. In 2008, Dotty Rigby accepted a request to rejoin the council.

“On behalf of the College of Arts and Architecture, I congratulate Dotty and Paul Rigby for their recognition as 2013 Center for the Performing Arts Distinguished Service Award recipients,” said Barbara O. Korner, dean of Penn State’s College of Arts and Architecture. “The Rigbys support for the arts truly comes from their hearts and inspires us all.”

Dotty Rigby was born in New York City and moved to Miami when she was in sixth grade, while Paul Rigby was born in Humboldt, Ariz., and moved with his family to Pachuca, Mexico, when he was 3 months old. There his father was an engineer and superintendent of a mine owned by a British company.

Paul and his family left Mexico when he was 14, and he attended high school in Biloxi, Miss. He earned two diplomas at the University of Texas: a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1945 and a doctorate in statistics in 1952.

He taught statistics and economics for two years at the University of Alabama, two years at Georgia State University, six years at the University of Houston, two years at the University of Mississippi and 30 years at Penn State. He retired in 1994.

The Rigbys met at the University of Alabama, where Dotty was a student majoring in speech management. They wed in 1954, the year she graduated. They have two grown sons, Peter and Mark.

Dotty earned a master’s degree in social studies at Penn State in 1968. She taught in public schools in the State College area for 17 years before retiring in 1981. She then worked for an interior design firm for 25 years.

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes significant contributions and distinguished service to the Center for the Performing Arts, which has presented the honor annually since 1996.

Learn more about the Center for the Performing Arts at www.cpa.psu.edu. Find the Center for the Performing Arts on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pscpa.

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Last Updated April 23, 2013