TYLER – Tyler Junior College has received a $3 million commitment from The Rogers Foundation. It will be used to help underwrite construction of TJC’s new performing arts center. The current Wise Auditorium, located in the heart of the Cultural Arts District on TJC’s main campus, will be transformed into the “Rogers Palmer Performing Arts Center.” Groundbreaking is expected to take place in June. When completed, the comprehensive performing arts center will include more than 14,000 square feet of new space including a recital hall and art gallery and green room and rehearsal and dance studios. There will also be a larger stage and backstage with expanded dressing rooms, a new main lobby and all new technology.
Wise Auditorium has been home to TJC’s performing arts programs since it opened in 1956. The facility serves the College’s creative and communication majors, which are second only to the nursing and health sciences. However, the current facility lacks the resources to support the ever-growing needs of the college’s performing arts programs. This includes The TJC Academy of Dance performances, vocal and instrumental recitals, theatre productions and Apache Belles and Band presentations. The auditorium has also hosted numerous activities of TJC, multiple events of local high schools and various visiting productions and programs for enjoyment of the East Texas community.
In recent years, Wise Auditorium has been the host venue to welcome back famous alumni who got their start at TJC, including Grammy Award winner Chris Tomlin, Hollywood actor Shea Whigham and former NSA Director and CIA Deputy Director Admiral Bobby Inman.