Performing Arts Center at Abilene Christian University
to be named for J. McDonald and Judy Williams of Dallas
For Immediate Release
Feb. 19, 2000
ABILENE - Abilene Christian University's proposed $12
million performing arts center will be named for Dallas
civic leader J. McDonald Williams and his wife Judy.
Dr. Royce Money, ACU president, announced Saturday that
the ACU Board of Trustees had unanimously voted to name the
new building the J. McDonald and Judy Williams Performing
Arts Center. The announcement came during the university's
annual President's Circle Dinner.
The Williamses donated more than $6 million to the
university for the new 76,000-square-foot performing arts
center, to be constructed later this year, Money said.
Williams, 1963 ACU graduate and a member of the ACU
board, is chairman of Trammell Crow Company, a large,
international real estate development company.
He is also a past recipient of the Linz Award, Dallas'
oldest and most prestigious civic award, from The Zale
Corporation and The Dallas Morning News.
Construction on the building for ACU's academic
departments of music and theatre is expected to begin later
this year. The total cost of the building project,
including infrastructure, landscaping and endowment, exceeds
$16 million. At this point, ACU has received more than $12
million in donations for the total project.
The Williams Performing Arts Center project is part of
ACU's $100 million "To Lead and To Serve" campaign, which
has reached $95 million. The campaign ends Dec. 31.
Money also said two theatres in the Williams Center will
be named for Dr. and Mrs. James Culp of Benton, Ky., and Dr.
and Mrs. Lewis Fulks of Abilene. A 300-seat theatre will be
named Fulks Theatre after a man who directed sold-out ACU
Homecoming Musicals for 30 years and ACU's 50th and 75th
A smaller multi-form theatre will be named Culp Theatre
in honor of an ACU English professor of 15 years who also
taught at Texas Tech and Lipscomb University.
"Don and Judy have made a substantial gift to the
performing arts center - not just because they are patrons
of the arts, but primarily because they believe in ACU and
its mission," Money said. "ACU has profoundly affected
their lives and the lives of their family, and they see the
influence it continues to have on thousands of students
"Don and Judy, frankly, have some uneasiness about this
facility bearing their names. Their style of philanthropy
is to do good in quiet ways. Their goal is simply to be
faithful stewards of the blessings they have received from
God. Board members felt this was an important way for them
to express their appreciation for all the Williamses have
done for ACU."
The new Williams Performing Arts Center will provide
classroom, performance and practice facilities for ACU music
and theatre. In addition to the Fulks and Culp Theatres, it
also will include a recital hall, signature lobby area,
dressing rooms, faculty and administrative offices, faculty
studios, choral and instrumental rehearsal halls, and music
The architectural firm of record is The Tittle Luther
Partnership of Abilene with Keating/Khang Architects of
Santa Monica, Calif., acting as design consultants.
Williams received the Linz Award April 14, 1998, at the
Hyatt Regency for his volunteer efforts with the Southern
Sector Initiative, which encourages businesses to become
involved in redevelopment in south Dallas. He was also
named ACU's Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Feb. 23,
Before being named chairman of the board for Trammell
Crow in 1994, Williams earlier was partner of overseas
projects, managing partner, president and chief executive
A native of Roswell, N.M., he received a law degree from
George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in
He has also served as a trustee for George Washington
University and Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. He
has served as a director for A.H. Belo Corporation, Fidelity
Union Life Insurance Company, Algonquin Books of Chapel
Hill, Guaranty Federal Savings Bank and Texas Research
League. He is a member of the Dallas, Texas and American
Bar Associations, and has served on the U.S. President's
Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations.
Williams is an elder at Skillman Church of Christ in
Dallas. His wife, the former Judy Alguire, a native of
Oklahoma City, also attended ACU and the University of
Oklahoma. The couple has five children.
Fulks joined the ACU faculty in 1949 and, except for a
three-year leave of absence, taught at the university 42
years before his retirement after the 1990-91 school year.
A graduate of ACU, he received a master's degree in drama
from the University of Southern California and an honorary
doctorate from ACU. ACU's theatre program received national
acclaim for excellence during his tenure, and Fulks
established the Southwest's first dinner theatre
Culp, also a graduate of Abilene Christian, taught
English at ACU in 1959-67 and again in 1986-92. He also
taught at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., in
1950-52 and at Texas Tech in 1967-85. Culp received
master's and Ph.D. degrees from Vanderbilt University and
served as president of the Texas College English
ACU is a national leader in Christian higher education,
attracting more than 4,600 students from all the states and
60 nations. Ranked as one of "America's Best Colleges,"
Abilene Christian offers 117 bachelor's and 32 master's
degrees and the Doctor of Ministry degree. ACU, a private
comprehensive university, is known for exceptional academic
programs in biblical studies, pre-med, physics, journalism/
digital media, education and business. The university is
located about 180 miles west of Dallas.
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- Last update: Feb. 22, 2000
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