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WUIS receives gift in support of new studio facilities

December 12, 2005

SPRINGFIELD – Public radio WUIS 91.9 FM has received a pledge from long-time listeners and members Michelle and Guerry Suggs of Springfield that will serve as the major component in funding a new performing arts studio for the station.

The Suggs’ $25,000 gift will support the technical components of the 900-square-foot studio, including microphones for 12 voices or instruments and a high-quality recording booth. The studio will also have space for a piano and will be able to accommodate live audiences.

“We are incredibly thankful for Michelle and Guerry’s generosity,” said WUIS General Manager Bill Wheelhouse. “The performing arts studio is a major component in our goal to bring even more local music and voices to the airwaves in the coming years.”

Other donors have joined the Suggs to offset construction costs of the $45,000 studio project, leaving only $11,000 still to be raised for sound-proofing and retrofitting offices into studio space.  An anonymous donor has offered to match donations dollar-for-dollar up to $5,000.  WUIS expects to open the new facility early in 2008.

“The studio will open up a new musical horizon for us,” said Karl Scroggin, host of the station’s Morning Classics program.  “I can’t wait to interview and perform with musicians there. The possibilities are endless.”

With the new studio, the station also hopes to expand its music education program, enabling children from all parts of the listening area to learn from musicians firsthand.

The Suggs have been supporting members of WUIS since 1986.  Their decision to make a major gift to the station at this time was influenced by many factors, including the demise of locally owned radio stations nationwide.  “When public radio is at its best, it provides an in-depth local viewpoint, and we believe this gift will allow for more local interaction and coverage on the arts and issues in our community, thus giving people more knowledge to make better decisions,” said Guerry. 

Guerry Suggs became vice president of the First National Bank of Springfield in 1976. Michelle grew up in Springfield, the daughter of James P. Murphy, one of the founding partners of Crawford Murphy and Tilly. The couple married in 1961 and, between the two of them, have served or are serving in leadership roles with a number of community organizations including District 186 PTA, the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Library Association, the Springfield Art Association, the Mental Health Centers of Illinois, the Douglas Avenue United Methodist Church, the Lincoln Land Community College Foundation, the Springfield YMCA, the Springfield Urban League, and the Illinois State Museum.  In 2000, Guerry Suggs was named Copley First Citizen by the State Journal Register.  The Suggs have three children and five grandchildren.

For more information about supporting the performing arts studio project at WUIS, contact Lisa Stott at 206-6403.

WUIS 91.9-WIPA 89.3 is listener-supported public radio celebrating its 30th year on the air in 2005. Broadcast from the University of Illinois at Springfield campus, WUIS’ mission is to satisfy a curious, societally engaged audience through programming and community outreach.  WUIS’ program schedule, events, and other information can be found by visiting www.wuis.org.

 

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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