Skip to: Main Content Search Main Navigation Audience Navigation
Apply Online Spring
Visit Campus
Request More Information
Ohio University Lancaster Campus Theatre
Information about Events being held on Campus
Class Cancellation Notification Plan
Ohio University Lancaster Campus Athletics
arts invite
April 07, 2013 : O.U. Lancaster Celebrates the Arts with Special Fundraising Event

Widows of Former Dean Ray Wilkes and Former Art Professor Anthony Davenport helped plan the event

- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager

Lancaster – The Ohio University Lancaster Campus is reflecting on the past and taking a glimpse into the future at a special fundraising event on Saturday, April 13. The event is called "Ohio University Lancaster Celebrates the Arts: A Reflection and A Glimpse."


"The Lancaster Campus has a rich history in arts and culture," said Lancaster Campus Development Director Mandi Custer. "It's important to look back on that history and use it as the building blocks for a bright future at OUL."


The reflection part of the evening appreciates the work of Anthony Davenport, an artist and a former Ohio University Lancaster professor of art. Davenport worked at OUL from 1978 to 2004. Those in attendance will also look back at past theatrical performances held in the Jeffrey R. Wagner Theatre on campus. Wagner was director of the theatre from 1969 – 1998.


"Anthony Davenport and Jeffrey Wagner were a big part of why the arts are so important on the Lancaster Campus," said Custer. "Their contributions to building the arts at O.U. Lancaster were huge and we know that they would want the Lancaster Campus to build on what they started as we move forward."


The glimpse part of the night will look at the campus's vision for the Raymond S. Wilkes Gallery for the Visual Arts. The gallery is named after the former campus dean who served in that role from 1978 to 1994. Davenport and Wilkes started at OUL during the same year and worked together to build arts and culture on campus. Their widows, Maria Wilkes and Kay Davenport, helped plan the evening's festivities. The night will also glimpse into the future of theatre and performing arts at Ohio University Lancaster.


"Arts and culture are so important on the Lancaster Campus," said Lancaster Campus Dean Jim Smith. "We want the community to see what the future can be at OUL. But, we need the community's support and help to build that vision."


The event will include live music and a backstage look at Little Shop of Horrors, which is being performed by the OUL Theatre from April 18 – 27. There will also be food, wine, a coffee bar, an art exhibition and a special performance by OHIO's Section 8. Section 8 is an a cappella men's singing group.


You can still register for the event online. The cost for the event is $50 per person and all proceeds benefit the OUL Arts and Culture Fund as part of 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 $419 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 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.


To learn more about The Promise Lives Campaign or to make a donation, visit or contact Mandi Custer at or 740-654-6711 ext. 234.