Wynee Martin Warden '45, a long-time supporter and alumna of Rollins College, Wynee Warden, has established a $1-million endowed chair at the College, which has been awarded to the director of the nationally acclaimed Annie Russell Theatre.
Rollins President Rita Bornstein named S. Joseph Nassif, chairman of the theater department and director of the Annie Russell since 1982, as the first holder of the Winifred M. Warden Chair of Theatre Arts and Dance. (Photo at left is of Professor Joe Nassif and Wynee Martin Warden '45.)
"One of Rollins' great strengths is its theater program," Bornstein said. "The fact that Wynee, who has supported her alma mater so generously over the years, has chosen to honor that legacy with her most recent gift will ensure the future success of the 'Annie' and its students."
A former ballet dancer and a theater major while a student at Rollins, Warden has provided financial support to Rollins through the Bert W. Martin Foundation, which bears her father's name. More recent gifts include the Bert W. Martin Tennis Complex, the Martin Lakeview Patio, the Wynee Warden Costume Studio, the Warden Dining Room in the Cornell Campus Center, and the Warden Arena in the Harold & Ted Alfond Sports Center.
"Rollins has had such a positive impact on so many of us who have had the opportunity to attend the college," said Warden. "It's a pleasure for me to be able to give something back in this manner."
The Annie Russell Theatre was dedicated in 1932. The facility was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. Notable alumni of Rollins' theater program include Anthony Perkins '54, Buddy Ebsen '30, and Dana Ivey '63.
"I consider Wynee a dear friend as well as a devoted patron of our theater program," Nassif said. "The fact that she has chosen to invest in our future by funding this chair speaks not only to her generosity, but commitment to her alma mater. I am very honored that the College has chosen me as the first holder of this endowed chair."