Anderson, Indiana

Novak family provides major gift for York Performance Hall and Galleries

Thu, 2012-03-01 13:30 -- univcomm
March 1, 2012

Anderson University recently announced the receipt of a major gift from the Novak family to name the Green Room in the York Performance Hall and Galleries project in memory of Zachary Novak BA '04. Zach died in a 2006 plane crash outside of Bloomington, Ind., along with fellow AU alum Garth Eppley BA '03

novak"In so many ways Zach Novak represents the hopes we have for students in our School of Music,” said Dr. James Edwards, president of Anderson University. “His musical gifts and personal qualities were exceptional. He thrived in our programs and contributed to them. We are so pleased the family has chosen to memorialize this wonderful young graduate and help us complete a facility that in many ways defines the goals and commitments of this extraordinary person."

Zach Novak was born and raised in Anderson. He graduated from Highland High School in 1999 and from Anderson University with a bachelor’s degree in music education in 2004. He graduated from AU Summa Cum Laude with honors in music. Zach received the School of Music's Voice Performance Award and won the senior men category and State National Association of Teachers of Singing awards. At the time of his death, he was due to graduate from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University with a Master of Music degree in choral conducting with a minor in voice.

“When the discussion surfaced about AU building a performance hall, the idea of a room named in Zach’s honor seemed only fitting due to his love, appreciation, and gratitude for the professors,” said Dan Novak, Zach’s father. “Zach had a deep passion for the Lord and for music, and AU fostered that passion. We are thankful to AU and the board for granting this request in honor of Zach. We are grateful that we can honor Zach’s memory as well as future performers who will continue to provide beautiful music.”

“The Green Room is one of the most important spaces in the performance hall,” said Dr. Jeffrey Wright, dean of the College of the Arts at Anderson University. “It is where performers prepare themselves mentally, physically, and spiritually for what they are about to do on the recital hall stage. It is important that this space is equipped and appointed to meet all of the needs of the performers.”

performance-hall-exteriorAnderson University broke ground for the York Performance Hall and Galleries in May 2011. The 24,000 square-foot facility, with an estimated cost of $4 million, will adjoin the existing Krannert Fine Arts Center, bringing together classrooms, rehearsal rooms, and the new performance venue. The performance hall project will provide a flexible performance space for many ensembles, solo student performances, and guest artists visiting Anderson University.

In addition to the recent gift for the York Performance Hall and Galleries project, a scholarship at AU was created several years ago in memory of Zachary Novak. The Novak family created the Zachary Joseph Daniel Novak Endowed Scholarship Fund. It quickly grew so that funds could be awarded to two students each year. The Novaks are invited to campus each year to meet the scholarship recipients and enjoy a recital.

The York Performance Hall and Galleries project will feature orchestra space for 45 musicians, a choir loft for 75 voices, and an advanced acoustical design. The main floor of the facility will accommodate approximately 250 seats while the balcony space will support approximately 75 seats. A large lobby with glass walls will provide natural light and wide views of campus — providing an ideal setting for greeting guests and hosting receptions.

Gifts to underwrite the seats in the hall are still being accepted. For more information, see:

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.