Offutt Trust provides $500K gift for GC’s PAC campaign
Performing arts center’s theatre to be named for late Oakland artist
Daniel E. Offutt III’s name will soon occupy bookends on Garrett College’s quad off Bumble Bee Road, thanks to the gift provided by the late Oakland native’s trust for the new Performing Arts Center at Garrett College.
The Daniel E. Offutt Trust recently designated a $500,000 gift for the new center, with the Garrett College Board of Trustees designating the center’s theatre as the Daniel E. Offutt III Theatre. Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College’s president, said this latest gift continues the Offutt Trust’s transformative support of the College.
“Mr. Offutt was committed to expanding educational access for Garrett County residents in a wide variety of disciplines from the arts to the sciences,” said Dr. Midcap, noting the trust’s $2 million gift to the Offutt STEM Center in 2018. “I continue to be awed by the Offutt Trust’s commitment to transforming postsecondary education in the Appalachia region.”
The Daniel E. Offutt Trust recently designated a $500,000 gift for the new Performing Arts Center at Garrett College, with the Garrett College Board of Trustees designating the center’s theatre as the Daniel E. Offutt III Theatre. The late Oakland native and artist cared greatly for the College and his community.
Dick Orenstein, the Offutt Trust executor and a personal friend of the late philanthropist, said Offutt “wanted to support the college, and the arts offer a chance for young adults to learn and blossom in so many ways.
“Dan was a big believer in the growth of young people,” added Orenstein.
The Offutt STEM Center is located on the western end of the College’s Bumble Bee Road quad, and the Performing Arts Center at Garrett College is located on the eastern end of the quad. The center, which is scheduled to open in June, includes Garrett College, Garrett Lakes Arts Festival (GLAF), Garrett County Public Schools (GCPS), Garrett County Arts Council (GCAC), and Garrett County Government (GCG) as founding partners.
The Offutt gift is part of The Campaign for Garrett: Realizing Our Dream, a Garrett College Foundation initiative to create a $2.5 million endowment to assist in PAC operations. The campaign, which just went public this past November, has already raised more than $2.4 million toward that goal.
The performing arts center and associated community education facilities were designed by The DLR Group, an architectural firm out of Washington, D.C. The project is centered around the college’s old gymnasium, which is being renovated into a state-of-the-art proscenium theatre that will seat approximately 450 patrons.
A 16,000-square-foot addition to the theatre will feature a 2,000-square-foot conference center that can also be used as a recital hall, black box theatre, and reception venue. New educational spaces are also included, as well as a sound and lighting booth.
Orenstein has visited Garrett College on several occasions to tour the STEM Building and discuss the estate gift. The Garrett College Foundation officially received the gift, to be administered as intended by the late Mr. Offutt, who passed away in 2016.
“While Dan left a large charitable trust, he personally only specified a very few organizations,” said Orenstein. “Garrett College was not the only one, but was number one by a very large margin.
“I think Dan cared greatly for the College,” continued Orenstein, “and therefore it’s a wonderful thing that the college is caring for Dan by having his name and structures at both ends of the quad.”