ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop University alumni and supporters plan to raise $400,000 during this year’s 50th anniversary of the D.B. Johnson Memorial Organ in order to restore what is considered a community treasure.
The goal was announced Sunday, Jan. 16, during a Rock Hill Music Club organ recital in Byrnes Auditorium. To date, more than $50,000 has been pledged before the campaign has officially begun, said David White, co-chair of the organ restoration campaign committee along with Shirley Fishburne '72 and '73.
The Winthrop University Alumni Association contributed the first gift to the campaign in the amount of $20,000. "It was the commitment of the Winthrop Alumnae Association 50 years ago to raise money for this important project," White said, adding that alumni have always had a major role in the organ’s history.
He also announced a gift of $10,000 from U.S. Rep. John Spratt and his wife, Jane Spratt '64, who are loyal Winthrop supporters and patrons of the arts and 2004 recipients of Winthrop University’s Medal of Honor in the Arts. Mini-concerts to raise awareness of the fund-raising campaign are planned around the region in the next six months with a final celebration concert expected in the fall. The D.B. Johnson Memorial Organ, which is named after Winthrop’s first president and founder, is widely regarded as one of the most valuable and historic organs in this part of the country. The Boston company that built it, the Æolian-Skinner Organ Company, constructed some of the finest mid-twentieth century instruments in the U.S. Winthrop’s organ is one of the few in the country to have been adjusted by G. Donald Harrison, Æolian-Skinner’s legendary tuner. For more information, contact the Office of Development at 803/323-2150.
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