|David Dallas (left), Executive Director of the Bologna Performing Arts Center, with Dr. Leroy Morganti.|
Given annually in recognition of outstanding service to the Bologna Performing Arts Center, Dr. Leroy Morganti of Benoit, was recently named the 2006 President’s Award Winner.
“This recognition is long overdue,” David Dallas, Executive Director of the Bologna Performing Arts Center, offered. “This award honors the vision and dedication of Dr. Morganti.”
As the Center neared completion in spring 1995, then Delta State University President, Dr. Kent Wyatt, decided he wanted the grand opening to be help in September. He, further, decided Morganti would direct the event and the operations of the Center, in addition to his role as Vice-President of Executive Affairs.
“It was in addition to all of his other duties,” Wyatt said. “Leroy had a vision of what the Performing Arts Center could become and do, not only for Delta State, but for the entire Delta region. He, more than anyone else, is responsible for the many successes of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.”
Morganti worked closely with Pat Halloran of The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis in developing a box office management strategy, a technical team and a plan for selecting an Executive Director. Additionally, he formed an Advisory Board consisting of campus and community leaders.
The BPAC would become the centerpiece of the Delta State Foundation’s then capital campaign, with Morganti determined to raise $2 million as an endowment to support BPAC programming. Roger Malkin, of Delta and Pine Land, gave $500,000 toward the campaign, while seats were sponsored at $1,000 each.
Most significant, though, still remains the call placed by Dr. Nino Bologna of Greenville, to Wyatt. Bologna inquired about the building, and soon after pledged $2 million to name the performing arts center in memory of his children.
Morganti served at the helm of the BPAC from its inception in 1995 until his retirement in 2002. He was instrumental in securing famed composer and songwriter Marvin Hamlisch as the BPAC’s inaugural performer.
Currently, Morganti is enjoying retirement and writes occasionally for The Delta Democrat Times.