Dr. Paul and Shirley Stanley

June 21, 2019 1:06 PM

As a patroness of fine arts, Shirley Stanley views her commitment to Millikin’s new Center for Theatre & Dance as an investment in not only the University but also in her hometown. Shirley and her husband, Paul, have generously gifted $50,000 toward the project, which will be used to name a conference room on the building’s second floor.

The Stanleys are both retired following distinguished 40-year careers in the medical field; Paul as a physician specializing in internal medicine, and Shirley as a clinical dietitian. The Stanleys are pillars of the Decatur community, supporting a variety of philanthropic endeavors. Shirley is well known for her passion for animals and serves with the Decatur & Macon County Animal Shelter Foundation. She also is very active in the fine arts scene at Millikin, working alongside Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra Director and Conductor Dr. Sergey Bogza to help with the Moscow Ballet’s performance of “The Nutcracker” and the Alabama Ballet’s performance of “Sleeping Beauty.”

Shirley’s appreciation for dance was forged early in life. She began studying ballet at the age of eight and has trained at Millikin for decades. Over the years, she has become proficient in many dance forms under the tutelage of a number of esteemed Millikin faculty, including Darlene Heit Harshbarger ’65, Gary Shull and Angela Miller, current assistant professor in the School of Theatre & Dance.

As a personal friend to faculty, staff and students alike, Shirley is happy to lend her support to the University and her community, and says she is “pleased to play a small part in creating this future facility. The Center will help secure Millikin’s national role in performing arts education. Also, on a personal level, this gift affirms the good work of the theatre and dance professors.”