Ground was broken Tuesday for a new theater at Berry College, and a $1 million gift for the project was announced.

Atlanta benefactor gives Berry College $1 million

Berry College has received $1 million from a foundation created by an Atlanta philanthropist, the late Bobbie Bailey.

Bailey’s sister, Audrey Morgan, announced the gift Tuesday during the groundbreaking ceremony for the new campus theater.

Morgan led fundraising for the new theater with a $1 million challenge gift in 2015, resulting in more than $4 million in additional gifts. Only $600,000 is left to complete $6.7 million in fundraising for the 250-seat theater. The project will also renovate historic Blackstone hall, the oldest brick building on Berry’s campus. The new theater is scheduled to open for the 2017-18 academic year.

Bailey was a Kennesaw State University Foundation Trustee for more than 22 years. What began with music scholarships became an endowment and naming of the 624-seat Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center at Kennesaw State. She became a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, president of the Friends of Georgia Music Festival, Inc. and executive producer of the annual Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.

During World War II, she worked for a company that refabricated refrigeration compressors, which led to the start of her own company, Our-Way, Inc. As sole owner and CEO, Bailey built the company into a $45 million-a-year enterprise. Morgan served as the CFO and was an integral part of Our-Way’s success.

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