Community friends, students, faculty and staff filled the entry and spilled into the atrium of the Falany Performing Arts Center to celebrate the unveiling of the portrait of Dr. Floyd and Fay Falany in Reinhardt Collegeï¿½s performing arts center named in their honor.The Falanys lived on the Reinhardt Campus for 25 years while he filled the positions of dean and president.
Community friends, students, faculty and staff filled the entry and spilled into the atrium of the Falany Performing Arts Center to celebrate the unveiling of the portrait of Dr. Floyd and Fay Falany in the Reinhardt College building named in their honor."The portrait of the Falanys is amazing," said JoEllen Wilson, Reinhardt's vice president of external affairs who worked with the Falanys for 17 years. "It is so realistic that it looks almost like a photograph. Rossin, the artist, did an exceptional job capturing their warmth, humor and welcoming personalities."
All expected entertaining tales from Dr. Falany, and he didn't disappoint. He told of his early days on the Campus, when he asked where he might get a sandwich after the dining hall closed, and was told,"'Hmm, Marietta." He
talked of how the area and the College had changed over the years, but how the values upon which Reinhardt was founded continue to provide direction in the College's operations.
"We feel honored to have been a part of Reinhardt College and we feel privileged to continue to be a part of the hearts and minds here. This portrait looks like Fay and makes me look a lot better," he said, grinning. "It also made us feel good to see that the other portrait he was working on was of two famous Georges [a portrait of President George W. Bush with President George H.W. Bush for the George Bush Presidential Library].
The Falanys' daughters unveiled the painting: Dr. Angie Falany Hulse, Candy Falany Wilbanks, Cortney Falany Massoud and Kelly Falany. All grew up on the Reinhardt Campus and now live in Cherokee County.
Longtime faculty members Curtis Chapman, Thelma Rogers, Andy Edwards, Judye MacMillan and Susan Naylor shared touching and humorous stories of their years with the Falanys.
Edwards told of a time when Falany borrowed a bus and took the faculty on a retreat to North Carolina but was stopped by the state patrol for speeding. "The bottom line was that he not only talked his way out of the ticket; the patrolman ended up sending his daughter to Reinhardt."
Rogers told of starting an intercollegiate athletics program on a shoestring. "I said, 'Floyd, I would really like for us to consider starting an intercollegiate athletics, maybe in basketball. There's a small college conference we can be a part of where we could be competitive right away.' And he said, 'Thelma, if you believe we can do it, without any money, then do it.' This modest start has grown to include nine intercollegiate sports teams with two additional teams to be added in the fall of 2004.
Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood, Reinhardt's current president, welcomed the standing-room-only crowd, saying, "Dr. Falany's place in the history of this College is assured. While the College has been blessed with past inspirational leadership, in 100 years from now, when students and faculty look back on its history, the time and service of Floyd Falany will be understood as a major transition time for this College."
He also thanked Mrs. Falany for the impact she made on the College as a hostess and behind the scenes partner to her husband. "And to Fay, service as president of Reinhardt is never a one person responsibility. It is always a team effort. We are all indebted to what both of you have offered to Reinhardt. To both of you from the entire Reinhardt family, thank you. Thank you for your dedication, your good humor, your hard work and your long hours."
The Falanys lived on the Reinhardt Campus for 25 years while he filled the positions of dean and president. The Falany
Performing Arts Center was first announced in 1998 at the completion of the College's $30.5 million capital campaign. An anonymous donor gave the center's naming gift, asking that it be named for the Falanys. Assisted by two Atlanta families, the McCamishes, who contributed the funds for the Media Arts Center, and the Murrays, who donated funds for the Eulene Holmes Murray Department of Music, the resulting $9 million facility opened in the winter of 2002. It houses the newly organized school of communication arts and music.
Rossin, the portrait artist, has an impressive list of commissions including the former U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell, the children of recording stars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and numerous educational, business, political and judicial leaders. A native of Bulgaria, he graduated from the High School of Fine Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria, and from The Art Academy of Sophia with Special Honors. He now lives in Atlanta, Ga.
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