Asbury Dedicates Jameson Recital Hall
March 02, 2018
Eda Jameson, a longtime friend of Asbury University, created Jameson Recital Hall through an estate gift.
WILMORE, Ky. — The legacy of Eda Jameson, a longtime friend of Asbury University, lives on through the newly-dedicated Jameson Recital Hall. The dedication ceremony was held March 1, 2018.
Jameson, a pianist and music faculty member at Yuba College, performed annual piano concerts at Asbury for 25 years. In addition to generously sharing her musical gifts, Jameson left a legacy that continues to enrich musical performances on Asbury’s campus. In 2012, Jameson donated a Fazioli grand piano to the Music Department, and after she passed away, her estate provided an additional Fazioli as well as funds to renovate Akers Auditorium and to establish the Eda LaFaye Schlatter Jameson Endowed Scholarship.
During Eda’s long friendship with Asbury, she developed a deep love for Asbury’s mission and purpose. The Jameson Recital Hall is a renovation of Akers Auditorium and a place where students will continue to perform and hone their musical crafts for generations to come, thanks to the Jameson estate’s generous gifts.
In the newly renovated space, you’ll find wheelchair-accessible and comfortable wood-back seats with gray cushioning, light gray walls, spotlights and hardwood flooring onstage. The colors throughout are, of course, Asbury purple with light and dark gray accenting.
But, perhaps the standout addition to the performance hall is the Fazioli piano that sits onstage and was gifted to the Music Department by Jameson. During the ceremony, Dr. Mark Schell ’87 told a humorous story about a time that Jameson almost let him play this piano that sat in her home for many years.
“So, we went to dinner and we came back. We were sitting there around her pianos,” Schell recalled. “And she said, ‘Would you like to play my piano?’ and I said, ‘Yes, Mrs. Jameson.’ And we talked for a while and I never got to play the piano. She just could not bring herself to let anybody else play the piano. So, you can imagine my shock when she gave the pianos to Asbury University, so that not only I, but so that students and faculty can play these pianos.”
Jameson who passed away in 2012, though not an alumna, was a close friend of the University and performed at annual concerts on campus for 25 years. Her generosity has funded the renovation of Akers Auditorium as well as the Eda LaFaye Schlatter Jameson Endowed Scholarship.
“God created us to be His instruments of love, of peace and joy. Music is one of the ways that we do this,” said Asbury University President Sandra C. Gray before speaking about Jameson’s close friendship with so many at the University.
“Eda Jameson’s love for the Lord, her love for Asbury University and her love for music make it possible for us to be here today,” Dr. Gray said in her dedication speech.
The hall’s beautiful acoustics were put on full display with a performance from Dr. Donald Zent on the Fazioli piano and a chorale performance by the Student Vocal Ensemble, led by Dr. Vicki Bell.
Following the performances and a dedication led by Board of Trustees Chair Larry Brown ’80 and Commissioner Sue Miller ’72 Swanson, Schell pointed out a sign hanging above the auditorium’s door. It reads: “Ad majorem dei gloriam.”
“It means ‘to the greater glory of God’ and we want everything that we do in our programs to reflect the greater glory of God,” Schell said.
The sign was a generous gift from an anonymous couple who loves Asbury. With voices united, the congregation, led by Schell, closed out the ceremony in song with the hymn “To God be the Glory.” This will surely be the first of many times in Jameson Recital Hall that voices are lifted in unison, praising the Almighty God.
To learn more about Asbury’s Music Department, visit: asbury.edu/Music.