Published Wednesday, March 31st, 2021
Peterson Fine Arts' atrium space will be named "State Nebraska Bank & Trust Atrium: Inspired by Kaki Ley," as part of the major renovation planned for the building.
The Wayne State Foundation is pleased to announce the acceptance of a major lead gift from State Nebraska Bank & Trust of Wayne for Wayne State College’s Peterson Fine Arts Renovation and Addition. The gift was made to name the building’s atrium space “State Nebraska Bank & Trust Atrium: Inspired by Kaki Ley” in recognition of Ley’s passion for and outstanding career in music education.
A reception was held March 29 in the Peterson Fine Arts Atrium to reveal the gift and surprise naming to Ley on her birthday. State Nebraska Bank & Trust and Ley family and friends were in attendance, along with Wayne State Foundation, Wayne State President Marysz Rames, and Wayne State College administration, faculty, and staff. The WSC Chamber Choir, under the direction of Dr. Matthew Armstrong, also performed at the event.
“Thanks to the very generous support from the Ley family and State Nebraska Bank & Trust, this major lead gift has provided very positive momentum as the Wayne State Foundation continues to fundraise additional support for the Peterson Fine Arts Renovation Project,” said Kevin Armstrong, CEO for the Wayne State Foundation.
Kaki Ley taught music at Wayne Community Schools to middle school and high school students for 17 years and directed an equal number of high school musicals in Wayne. She also taught at WSC from 1992 to 1996, giving vocal music lessons and directing the Wayne State Women’s Choir. Ley also received her Spanish endorsement in teaching from WSC. She continues to be involved with music as a member of community choirs, song leader for Wayne Rotary, and founder of a ukulele club in Wayne.
Founded in 1892, State Nebraska Bank & Trust is the only bank locally owned in Wayne, run by the same family for five generations. The bank has a long history of giving to Wayne State College, including six yearly scholarships and an annual teaching excellence award. With the recent opening of the state-of-the-art SNBuilding, featuring the bank’s second location, its Campus Branch, the connection between State Nebraska Bank & Trust and the college has only grown stronger.
“We are proud to continue our strong partnership with Wayne State College by supporting their exceptional music education program with this gift,” said Matthew Ley, CEO of State Nebraska Bank & Trust. “Having the college in our community brings so many benefits, including wonderful music concerts, theatre performances, and more.”
According to David Ley, Chairman of the Board for State Nebraska Bank & Trust, “I have seen how much music and WSC mean to my wife Kaki, so we are thrilled to honor her contributions to such a worthy cause and shine a spotlight on music education at Wayne State.”
The Peterson Fine Arts Renovation and Addition is slated to begin construction in September. The $10.3-million project will include the addition of new band and choir rehearsal spaces to allow for the continued growth and expansion of band and choir ensembles in the WSC Department of Music.
The renovation also includes improved acoustics in all practice rooms and teaching studios, upgrades to Ramsey Theatre, improved accessibility with a new elevator and ramp to Ramsey stage, a new student lounge and gathering space, as well as an expanded atrium for receptions and public gatherings.
“High quality facilities not only keep participants safe by conforming to national standards for hearing health, but they also play a significant role in recruiting and retaining quality students and elevating the performance level of our student musicians,” said Dr. David Bohnert, Chair of the WSC Department of Music. “As one of the most active facilities on campus, the Peterson Fine Arts Building regularly brings students, faculty, staff, and the community together in exploring the arts at WSC.”