The Commerce Journal

Features

February 4, 2008

Businessman hits high note

A&M-Commerce expresses appreciation for music building donation

Due in large part to the generosity of Greenville businessman Jack Finney, Texas A&M; University-Commerce will soon have a new building in which to continue to make beautiful music.

Finney, 91, and a Commerce native, was feted Tuesday at a special luncheon in his honor at the Memorial Student Center on campus, where he was thanked for a recent $500,000 donation toward the construction of the facility.

Dr. Chris White, head of the university’s Department of Music, said the planned $23.5 million building will be located at the main entrance to the campus and be clearly visible from the highway.

“It will be iconic to the way people remember the university when they visit for the first time,” White said.

Preliminary sketches for how the building may someday appear were unveiled during the luncheon, showing where each room will be located inside.

“Right in the center of the building will be the Lou and Jack Finney Concert Hall,” White said.

University President Dr. Keith McFarland said the school had assumed it would need a total of $3 million in contributions to supplement funding which was provided by the Texas Legislature.

“Jack, your lead gift assures the success of our fund-raising,” McFarland said. “Thank you for stepping up and leading the way.”

McFarland shared some of the often-repeated stories of Finney’s accomplishments, from his dedicated affiliation with Texas A&M;, to his string of business and entrepreneurial successes and his 67-year marriage to the late Lou Finney.

“Jack Finney has done wonders,” McFarland said.

When it came time to take the stage, Finney credited his lifelong love of music to his mother, who attended East Texas Normal College led by university founder William L. Mayo.

“I can’t read a note,” Finney admitted, but said he hoped to be present when the building is opened.

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