Virginia Tech’s $100 million Center for the Arts building has an official name — the Moss Arts Center, named after renowned artist Patricia Buckley Moss.
“We are extremely happy and very proud to officially announce the naming of this beautiful facility (as) the Moss Center for the Arts in recognition of a great benefactor and wonderful lady,” said President Charles Steger at the press conference Wednesday morning.
Moss’ philanthropy was a huge part of completing the project, with her $10 million donation being one of the largest gifts the university has ever received. Steger said the Board of Visitors’ decision to name the center after Moss was a reflection of her commitment to the arts and comprehensive art education.
“I think this really magnificent building shows the value we place on the arts at Virginia Tech,” Steger said.
“This wonderful place is where I would fit in, and where so many people will fit and find a home for their success,” Moss said on Wednesday.
Moss has had works represented in over 200 galleries, has won numerous awards and has a foundation that works specifically with teachers to promote art education. She is known for her paintings of rural landscapes and life in the Shenandoah Valley.
Along with her artwork, she runs the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children's Education to assist those who struggle with learning disabilities. Moss herself struggles with dyslexia and often cites encouragement from her peers and teachers as a reason for where she is today.
“There are so many people who really need scholarships and need money to go to school, and that’s why we have the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Education,” Moss said.
The 147,000 square-foot building is part of a bigger effort to encompass the arts, education and technology at Tech — something Steger says is an integral part to fostering relationships with the art community.
“I think it will mean a lot just for the quality of cultural fabric of the community for many people who live here and who retire here,” Steger said.
Moss, who has had grandchildren attend Tech, says that her ties to Tech as well as passion for the area contributed to her desire to fund the project. After recently buying a house at Claytor Lake, Moss said that she looks forward to seeing how the Center will contribute to the arts at Tech and to Blacksburg’s art culture.
“It’s very nice to be a part of this and I’m very proud to have my name on this building,” Moss said. “I’m very proud of all the people who have encouraged me. I thank you all.”
The grand opening celebration for the center will be held on Nov. 1.