A lifelong love of theatre and decades of dedicated service to the University have resulted in the establishment of the David and Rebecca Pardue Distinguished Professorship in Technical Theatre and Production Management and the Courtnay Arpano and David Pardue III Graduate Fellowship Fund. The two new endowments, totaling $1.4 million, will provide a great boost for the department of dramatic art and PlayMakers Repertory Company.
“I have loved PlayMakers since my parents took me to my first real play there when I was 12 years old,” said David Pardue ’69. “And my wife Becky has been very involved with the PlayMakers Ball since 1988.”
Through their work with PlayMakers, the Pardues became friends with Carroll Amanda Kyser, who was in charge of promotion and special events for the professional theatre company.
“Carroll was a wonderful person and a real inspiration. Sadly, we lost her to cancer in 1993 at age 44,” Pardue said. “Our gift is given in her memory.”
The new Pardue Professor will focus on technical and production management, especially for undergraduate performances.
“The Pardue Professor will mentor and teach students about the full arc of the production experience — from page to stage,” department chair McKay Coble said. “The technical capabilities of our venues combined with the acumen of our extraordinary faculty, now to include the Pardue Professor, will make Carolina a destination for students pursuing a life in theatre.”
In addition, the Pardue Graduate Fellowship, given by the Pardues’ children Courtnay Arpano and David Pardue III ’88, will help the department attract and train gifted graduate students in technical production and management.
“Upon graduation, our students are sought out by professional theatres, entertainment industries and the best technical theatre education programs,” Coble said. “The Pardue Fellowship will support talented graduate students as they learn with us.”
The Pardues have established several other funds at UNC, including the D. Earl Pardue Faculty Fellowship in the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, the Dr. George and Alice Welsh Professorship and the Pardue Professorship in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Editor’s note: This story by Jim Magaw ’89 appeared in the spring ’11 issue of Carolina Arts & Sciences magazine.