Reinhardt College Board of Trustee Chair William G. Hasty Jr. (left) congratulates fellow Reinhardt alumnus C. Kenneth White following the naming ceremony on Sept. 25, 2007.
Music lovers recently gathered at Reinhardt College for the first Kawai Gala. As part of the festivities, the beautiful atrium in the Floyd A. and Fay W. Falany Performing Arts Center on the College's Waleska, Ga., campus was named for a Cherokee County native: alumnus and longtime trustee C. Kenneth White (pictured at left).
A gift from White had enabled the Eulene Holmes Murray Department of Music to become the first Kawai Elite Performance Instrument Collection (EPIC) partner on the East Coast. Because of the College's relationship with one of the leading manufacturers of pianos in the world, music
students can now enjoy 34 new state-of-the-art pianos. In addition, professional musicians supported by Kawai will be appearing on the Campus during the year. The first performers took part in the Kawai Gala on Sept. 25, 2007.
Reinhardt President J. Thomas Isherwood described White as "a dedicated and hardworking alumnus who was always just a telephone call or e-mail away."
"He gives generously of his time, of his energy and of his resources," Isherwood said. "He is committed to 'his Reinhardt,'and he puts that commitment into action. The 'Reinhardt Experience' for our students is better because of what he does for them."
White humbly thanked Isherwood and the crowd. "These pianos mean so much to this music program and to Reinhardt College," he said. "We can already see them paying big dividends in the growth of the music program. I thank you for this honor tonite."
A Cherokee County native, White graduated from Cherokee High School. After earning an associate degree from Reinhardt, he completed a bachelor's degree in business administration from The University of Georgia. He became a certified public accountant and worked in accounting until he opened his own business, Whitecrest Carpets Mills, in 1972. He enjoyed success in the carpet industry for almost 20 years, including service as president of the Carpet Manufacturing Association. He is now president of the White Capital Group, LLC.
White has also supported scholarships, athletics and physical plant enhancements at Reinhardt. For years, he donated carpet for campus buildings, and he named the College's original student center. He has been served on Reinhardt's Board of Trustees since 1983. Currently chair of the finance committee, he also serves on the membership, student affairs, investment and executive committees. As chair of the College's Blue Ribbon Committee on Library, Student Center and Housing, he was instrumental is seeing that major upgrades were made to these important college facilities and services. In 1979, he received Reinhardt's President's Special Award; in 1999, he received the Evelyn J. Gordy Alumni Loyalty Award and in 2007, he was named the Alumnus of the Year.
Ken and his wife, Myra, live in Dalton, Ga. Their son Todd has one daughter, Courtney. Their son Brett and his wife, Lesha, have three daughters: Katie, Erin and Amelia. They are active in the community and members of the Dalton First Presbyterian Church.
White is active in Whitfield and Cherokee Counties as a founding director of Security State Bank in Canton, a founding director of Creekside Bank in Woodstock, a member of Dalton State College Foundation, president of Dalton Golf and Country Club and a board member of The Creative Art Guild of Dalton.
In addition to naming the atrium, the Kawai Gala included a recital by Kawai Artist Junko Ueno Garrett, a workshop and presentation by Kawai America Corporation Senior Vice President Brian Chung and a performance by Reinhardt Artist-in-Residence Dr. George Lucktenberg and Associate Professor of Music Susan Naylor.
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