Campus News

Center for Humanities and Arts will become Willson Center

On Nov. 9, the university will celebrate the naming of the Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.

A plaque commemorating the event will be unveiled on the south wall of the psychology building outside the Willson Center, located in 164 Psychology.

A public celebration honoring Jane and Harry Willson and the naming of the Willson Center will take place in the lower lobby of the Georgia Center for Continuing Education from 5-6:30 p.m. All ­members of the university ­community are invited to attend.

Jane and Harry Willson, owners of Sunnyland Farms and longtime benefactors of the university, have demonstrated their appreciation for the humanities and the arts by endowing the Willson Center. They had previously endowed the Harry and Jane Willson Professorship in Humanities, now held by William Kretzschmar in the Department of ­English.

Jane Willson has served on the UGA Foundation Board of Trustees, the UGA Research Foundation and the Franklin College Board of Advisors. She earned a B.A. from Wellesley College in 1945, and her husband, the late Harry Willson, earned a B.A. from Emory University in 1941 and a M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1943.

World travelers and art collectors, both of them believed deeply in the power of the arts and the humanities to transcend political divisiveness and bring individuals from different cultures into peaceful and productive communication with each other. Both saw the humanities and the arts as instruments of peace.

The Willson Center was originally founded in 1987 as the Humanities Center and transformed in 1997 into the Center for Humanities and Arts.

The Willson Center will retain its mission of promoting scholarly inquiry and creative activity in the humanities and the arts by supporting faculty research grants, lectures, symposia, publications, visiting scholars, visiting artists, collaborative instruction, public conferences, exhibitions, and performances and special professorships.