The Radford University Department of Theatre paid tribute to James Hawes and Ann Gardner Gray Saturday by dedicating space in Porterfield Hall to honor the two longtime champions of the arts.
In appreciation of contributions to the university by their families, the studio theatre in Porterfield Hall is now the Dr. James W. and Lilli Hawes Studio Theatre, and the costume studio is the Ann Gardner Gray Costume Studio.
The dedication ceremony was one of several events sponsored by the College of Visual & Performing Arts during Family Weekend 2011 and Fall Homecoming and Reunion. It was an opportunity for theatre alumni, family and friends to immortalize the honorees, said Carl Lefko, director of the School of Dance & Theatre. “They are with us to celebrate this special day,” he said. “All of us have fond memories in this space.”
Lefko described Hawes as “a legend among the students he taught.” As chair of the Radford University Department of Theatre from 1975 to 1994, Hawes was remembered by colleagues as a brilliant, dedicated professor of theatre history, a gifted actor, designer, director and an expert on 19th-century Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Hawes was also the founder of a visiting artists program that has hosted renowned professionals to design, teach and perform alongside RU students.