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December 17, 2013 : Couple Giving to OUL Theatre to Support Arts in Lancaster
- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager

Lancaster – Arts and culture are very important to Dean and Cathie DeRolph. The couple believes that music, theatre and art are what makes Lancaster a special place to live. So, supporting the fundraising effort for the Ohio University Lancaster Theatre was something that they both knew was right for them.


"You're just not a well-rounded community if you don't have the arts," said Cathie DeRolph. "Earth, without the word 'art' is just 'Eh."


"We both enjoy the arts and theatre. We love music," said Dean DeRolph. "We think the more there is in Lancaster, the better. The arts are just Lancaster. It's an important part of town."


Ohio University Lancaster is raising funds to update the Wagner Theatre.


"The stage, sound and lighting systems were designed in the 1960s and do not meet today's standards," said Lancaster Campus Dean Dr. Jim Smith. "The goal is to improve the facilities so that more visiting artists, performers and nationally-known speakers can come to OUL."


"I'm part of the Lancaster Arts and Civic Club and we use the theatre every spring," said Cathie DeRolph. "The sound system really needs to be updated."


"People in the back of the room can hear better sometimes than people six rows from the stage. There are also lighting issues." said Dean DeRolph. "We believe in giving back. We have a successful business here in town. We raised our children here and believe in giving back to this community."


The OUL Theatre program puts on four productions in the Wagner Theatre each year. A partnership between the Lancaster Festival and OUL is now bringing up-and-coming musical talent to the stage twice a year. Many community groups use the stage for yearly performances as well.


"By giving to a specific part of campus, like the theatre, the DeRolphs have channeled their passion into a cause that will benefit OUL students as well as the entire community," said Smith. "We are very appreciative of their gift and what it means to move the campus and community forward in supporting the arts."


The DeRolph's gift supports The Promise Lives Campaign. The Campaign is a $450 million fundraising initiative at Ohio University to support scholarships, faculty, the student experience, facilities, and community outreach. So far the Campaign has raised more than $438 million in support of these priorities. The Campaign ends in June, 2015.


On the Lancaster Campus, funds are being raised to support scholarships, arts and culture, facilities and future endeavors through planned giving.


Ohio University's Lancaster Campus and Pickerington Center are a critical gateway to education and opportunity for students and the community. Fourteen associate's degree programs and nine bachelor's degree majors are offered, along with four master's degree programs at the Pickerington Center. The Lancaster Campus has experienced tremendous progress since its founding in 1956 and continues to provide a high quality university education within a small-college setting at an affordable price. Ohio University regional campuses create the opportunity for students to imagine unlimited possibilities because Ohio University inspires students to transform themselves and their community.  


To learn more about The Promise Lives Campaign or to make a donation to the Lancaster Campus and Pickerington Center, contact Mandi Custer at or 740-654-6711 ext. 234.