$250,000 investment will help restore historic Chappelle Auditorium
COLUMBIA, S.C., April 14, 2015 – Boeing (NYSE: BA) announced today a $250,000 grant for Allen University to support the restoration of an historic building on the college’s campus. The investment will go toward the restoration of Chappelle Auditorium, originally built in 1925.
“Today the long histories of Allen University and Boeing intersect, deepening our roots in South Carolina,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “We recognize the importance of Allen University to the history of all South Carolinians and we are proud to be associated with Chappelle Auditorium, which has always been a special place for assembly, the arts, and positive engagement, and has made this state and this country a better place for all.”
“Allen University is thrilled to begin this partnership with Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company,” said Dr. Lady June Cole, Allen University interim president. “The potential for building upon this foundation and establishing a reciprocal relationship which benefits our students and our campus is unlimited. It is incumbent upon us to continue to be innovative and creative in our collaborative efforts which support the growth of Allen University. We are thankful for this generous contribution towards the renovation of Chappelle Auditorium.”
Chappelle Auditorium has been used as a public building, and through its early history, became a significant landmark as a place where African Americans could freely assemble. It was recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in South Carolina as a National Historic Landmark due to its unique architectural features and historic significance.
Restoration of Chappelle Auditorium began in early 2014 and is expected to be completed at the end of this year.
Notable persons who have spoken or performed at Chappelle Auditorium include Langston Hughes, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Muhammad Ali, educator and college president Mary McCloud Bethune, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and blues singer Brooks Benton.
“Allen University and Chappelle Hall hold a unique place in the history of this great state,” said Beverly Wyse, Boeing South Carolina vice president and general manager. “We at Boeing are proud to support this restoration so that future generations can also experience this important cultural landmark.”