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MagrudersContinue Galt Family Legacy of Support with $50,000 Capital Campaign Gift

Magruder, Galt family gift to Reinhardt College Falany Performing Arts Center
Mrs. Magruder thanked her family for taking part in the occasion. �I would like to thank you all," she said. "I�' so glad our grandchildren could be here. This is a very precious place." Taking part in the festivities were front row, left to right Will Magruder, Rebecca Magruder; second row Bill Magruder, Nell Galt Magruder, (longtime friends of the Magruders) Millie and Tom Fox; third row Shawna Galt, Kebra Galt, Carolyn Galt and Gaynelle Galt; fourth row Bill Magruder Jr., Odie Galt, Putnam Galt; back row Reinhardt Dean of Communication Arts and Music Margaret O'Connor, Reinhardt President Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood and his wife, Bettye Jo Isherwood.

One of the oldest and most prominent families in Cherokee County, the Galts, gathered recently at Reinhardt College to celebrate the continuation of their family's legacy of support toward the institution.  The festivities honored a $50,000 capital campaign gift to the Falany Performing Arts Center at Reinhardt from Nell Galt Magruder and Will DeLoach Magruder of Canton, Ga.  During the festivities, the plaque designating the Galt Family Instrumental Rehearsal Hall was unveiled.  The popular rehearsal and meeting room is named for Mrs. Magruder's parents Odian P. and Nell Paschal Galt Sr. and her aunts Martha C. Galt and Frances Galt.

The Galts have been associated with Reinhardt since its founding in 1883.  JoEllen Wilson, the  College Vice President for Institutional Advancement and External Affairs, explained: "When Captain Reinhardt and John Sharpe went to the Methodist Conference to ask for help starting a school, their friends, the Galts, supported that decision'."

Mrs. Magruder is the descendent of William Grisham and Jabez Galt, the founders of Canton, Ga. These South Carolina natives 

came to Georgia during the land lotteries of 1822 and 1832.  Their families have been prominent in business, civic and social endeavors for generations.

"I cannot imagine a family more devoted to the idea of the importance of education than mine," Mrs. Magruder wrote in a note to the College.  "My brother and I were spoon-fed that expectation of finished college from pre-memory.  It might later amount to brain-washing, but it worked!  Both of us felt very distinctly the responsibility implanted that we become 'educated' people.  This made me an enthusiastic supporter of my own alma mater, Hollins College (now Hollins University) and of various other educational institutions."

"I have never forgotten Reinhardt College, which was important to my family as Cherokee County's single repository of higher learning, now evolved into this vibrant, every-growing four-year college," she said.  "I feel extremely proud to have my family remembered in this place, because it represents the best of the hopes and dreams, even beyond what they could have visualized."

During the luncheon and ceremony on March 17, 2007, Reinhardt President Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood talked of Galts' philanthropic ties to the College. "There are so many families in our history who have kept Reinhardt alive," he said. "The Galts have surely been one of these. During the dark days of the '40s when our president, Dr. Burgess, often passed the hat to make Monday's payroll, this family was there. We're all thankful those days are behind us, but we're just as thankful for the consistent generosity of people like these who make this wonderful facility and its programs possible."

Wilson also remembered Mr. Galt's generosity.  "Dr. Burgess never failed to leave a visit with Mr. Galt without a check in his hand!  The first 'Cherokee County Grants' (that today we raise funds during A DAY to support) were established by the Galt family," she said.

The Galts sisters, both Shorter College alumnae, were well known in the community.  Miss Martha taught piano and music theory at Meredith College and then at the Women's College of Furman University.   Nell Paschal, the librarian at Meredith and then Furman's Womens College, visited her friend Martha's childhood home and met Odian.  They later married and settled in Canton.

Wilson shared fond memories of Miss Martha, who had returned to Canton after her father's death.  Martha was the organist, rehearsal pianist or choir director at Canton's First Baptist Church for more than 50 years.  "I knew Miss Martha as a

Odian Putnam Galt Sr.  Nell Paschall Galt

Martha Galt  Frances Galt

The Galt Family Instrumental Rehearsal Hall, a popular rehearsal and meeting room in the Falany Performing Arts Center at Reinhardt College, is named for Mrs. Magruder's parents: Odian P. (top Left) and Nell Paschal Galt Sr (top right); and her aunts Martha C. Galt  (bottom left) and Frances Galt.

very professional musician," Wilson said.  "Imagine the awe we choir members felt to be invited to her home, one of the most beautiful and historic places, for the annual choir Christmas party. When we raised our glasses, many discovered bugs in the ice cubes! Others were dismayed as they tried to put sugar in their tea, but were foiled by a non-detectable hole in the spoon. 'Miss Martha' got such a kick out of our surprises. I came to see this musical genius as also a fun-loving and delightful lady with a real sense of humor."

Nell's childhood memories of Reinhardt are also vivid: "I have recounted numerous times the story of when my father insisted I go with him to hear the U.S. Vice President Alben Barkley, who was speaking at Reinhardt.  Other visits in my youth were the occasions of 9th District Literary Meets of junior and high school students in everything from debating to piano.  I competed in debate as a high school junior and again as a member of a musical trio in the ninth grade.  As I recall, it was a very big deal to come to Reinhardt."

Reinhardt Dean of the Communication Arts and Music Margaret C. O'Connnor compared the Magruders' gift to the movie, Pay It Forward.  "A little boy performs a random act of kindness and pretty soon the community is embracing random acts," she said.  "The ripple effect of this gift throughout our community will be felt long after all of us here are gone.  People like those on this plaque understood the importance of paying it forward.  They and Nell and Bill will be a wonderful part of the future here at Reinhardt and in the Falany Performing Arts Center.  Because of this generous support we're going to enable little children to come here and see performers from all over the world.  We're going to be able to see freshmen come through the doors and practice their pianos, guitars and drums to the wee hours of the morning.  So what we're providing here today will be part of this facility's legacy for the future."

 

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