By Marvin Monroe
Recently, the estate of Mrs. Mozelle Tarpley gifted Reinhardt University with an unrestricted gift of $1,670,500. Reinhardt’s Board of Trustess voted to restrict this gift to the theatre program, ultimately going towards the construction of a new theatre building, known as The Stage Arts Center, that will be named after Fred and Mozelle Tarpley.
This donation will continue to draw interest that will be rewarded at 5% for student scholarships until an added amount can be put together to construct the Stage Arts Center.
The Tarpley’s lives were tied to education and Reinhardt University. Mr. and Mrs. Tarpley were both teachers who attended Reinhardt in the late 30’s. Both strived to achieve their goals and worked on campus to help their parents pay for their tuition costs.
After graduating, Mr. Tarpley went to teach at a junior high school in Oak Grove. In 1942, he joined the U.S. Naval Reserve and was aboard a ship that invaded Okinawa during WWII. Mrs. Tarpley became a teacher at Eton Elementary School while she waited for her future husband to return.
The couple married on June 1, 1946, after the war had ended, and moved to Dalton, Ga. where Mrs. Tarpley continued her career in the school system, and Mr. Tarpley worked at the First National Bank of Dalton. After four decades in banking, Mr. Tarpley retired as a group vice president.
The couple has also given Reinhardt a million dollar gift in the past to fund the academic building Fred H. and Mozelle Bates Tarpley Education Center, now commonly known as Tarpley.
Board Member, Ken White ’61 said, “As an alumnus of Reinhardt, I appreciate loyal alumni, with a continuing interest in and support of their alma mater. Mr. and Mrs. Tarpley not only made the naming gift for the Tarpley Education Center at Reinhardt in 1998, they left a legacy through this most generously planned gift that will help transform the lives of many young people.”
Assistant professor of theatre, David Nisbet, also gave his sentiments saying, “The theatre program would like to thank the Reinhardt Board of Trustees for seeing our need and taking decisive action to meet it. We are looking forward to the day when we have a dedicated space for our students to learn their craft and the public can enjoy even higher quality productions.”