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AACC Dedicates Theater to the Late Robert Kauffman

May 24, 2011
Education

      The Anne Arundel Community College Board of Trustees have voted to dedicate the theater and adjacent areas within the Pascal Center for Performing Arts to the late Robert E. Kauffman, professor emeritus, in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to and profound influence on the college Performing Arts department and the community.

      A dedication ceremony and celebration of his life will take place at the Pascal Center for Performing Arts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10. The center is on the Arnold campus, 101 College Parkway. Theater areas named for Kauffman, nicknamed “The Chief” by students and colleagues during his 30 years of service to AACC, are the inner lobby, box office, technician’s booth, auditorium and seating, orchestra pit, stage, scene shop, backstage and green room.

      “The Chief’s zest for the theater, unflagging energy and competence in leading theater trips and productions, personal integrity, and quest for excellence made him truly indispensable to the success of the college’s Performing Arts program,” AACC President Martha A. Smith, Ph.D. told the trustees.

      More than two dozen community members, former students and friends of the Chief joined his widow Dotti Kauffman at the trustees’ meeting. They rose to their feet for a standing ovation after the trustees voted unanimously to name the theater after Kauffman. Smith said she received 33 letters and e-mails from Kauffman’s students, AACC employees and community members supporting the naming. Kauffman died March 3.

      “During his long and distinguished career, he was an exceptional teacher who, year after year, drew the highest endorsements from students and colleagues alike,” Smith said. “His departmental college and community service, which were beyond compare, included the following:

* Designed AACC’s Theater Arts curriculum;

* Successfully directed more than 70 student/community theater productions;

* Transformed the Moonlight Troupers Drama Club from a club for students, faculty and staff into a highly successful community theater group;

* Raised tens of thousands of dollars for scholarships for fine arts students through hhis Winner’s Circle campaign and Moonlight Troupers’ activities;

* Developed a respected children’s theater and built a program which brings local children from their schools to the college for performances;

* Hosted the Anne Arundel County Public Schools Drama Festival on numerous occasions;

* Led dozens of theater study courses, many of which involved behind-the-scenes workshops, for community members and students in New York and London;

* Planned the production and performance facilities for the Pascal Center for Performing Arts and Cade Center for Fine Arts.

* Designed and built dozens of highly acclaimed sets for productions as lighting designer, producer and technical director.

* Supervised the college’s growing music program, including dance;

* Developed a national reputation as a teacher in theater education through his leadership of, and student participation in, the East Central Theatre Conference and the American College Theater Festival;

* Was named a Kennedy Center Silver Anniversary Directing Symposium Fellow in 1993.”