The ceremony was held at Dumont Plaza in downtown Meridian. Mississippi State's Bev Norment explained the ultimate goal is to have $5 million in the fund.
"To date, we stand at $4.2 million of that amount being committed. Those monies will remain in perpetuity that we will only use the interest of the corporate of that endowment and that will support any future repairs, maintenance, some operating, some program support and so on," Norment said.
"And today it is with great pride that we announce a new partnership with Mississippi State University. And we would like to pledge $25,000 to the Riley Education and Performing Arts Center," said Steve Cobb, manager of Meridian's Lockheed facility. "I can't think of a better way to help shape the lives of our young people and also help revitalize this beautiful part of Meridian."
"Lockheed has been a tremendous corporate citizen, community citizen serving the community, building for our national security. This is another great contribution to Meridian," said Cong. Chip Pickering.
The plan to restore the Opera House will create a 38,000 square foot arts and entertainment center as a branch of MSU.