MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? The Middlebury College Center for the Arts has been renamed The Kevin P. Mahaney ‘84 Center for the Arts after 1984 Middlebury College graduate Kevin P. Mahaney. The change is taking place in honor of Mahaney’s support of the arts programs at Middlebury.

“The building’s new name is a reflection of Kevin’s generosity and commitment to the arts as a key component of every Middlebury College student’s education,” said Middlebury College President Ronald D. Liebowitz.

“As a parent watching my own children develop their artistic abilities, I believe it is critical for Middlebury to continue to offer arts programs that excel in every area, from drama and dance to music and museum exhibitions,” said Mahaney. ”The arts are a powerful tool that can sharpen and broaden students’ minds, and expose them to new cultures.”

Although the name change is in effect now, the official dedication and renaming ceremony will take place on March 8, 2008, during a weekend of festivities celebrating the building’s 15th anniversary arts season. Completed in 1992, the center hosted its first season during the 1992-1993 academic year, and since then has served as Middlebury College’s primary location for artistic and cultural events. Anniversary activities will feature every area of the arts at Middlebury and culminate in a beaux-arts ball with music provided by student ensembles.

The visual and performing arts facility serves both the college and surrounding communities. The academic year is filled with a variety of performances and exhibitions by student, local, national and international artists.

The 100,000-square foot arts center is the home of the theatre, music and dance programs at the college; a music library; a 370-seat concert hall; the 200-seat Seeler Studio Theatre; a dance theatre; a spacious three-story lobby area; the Middlebury College Museum of Art; and Rehearsals Cafe. On the west side of the building, a courtyard faces a landscaped pond and sculptures from the college’s collection of Art in Public Places.

Mahaney is the president and chief executive officer of The Olympia Companies, a Portland, Maine-based real estate firm. As a student at Middlebury, Mahaney majored in economics and was a member of the lacrosse team, receiving All-American honors in 1985. Mahaney also earned a master’s degree from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. A 1992 Olympic silver medalist in sailing, Mahaney has served as a trustee of the University of Maine.

According to Mahaney, his first introduction to the arts was at Middlebury and that exposure has enhanced all aspects of his life since then. “My junior and senior years included courses in art history, dance, film, music and architecture. This is not what I would have expected in coming to Middlebury but this is what had the most lasting impact,” he said.