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SFA Interim President Gina Oglesbee, Bill Elliott and Dr. Gary Wurtz (middle) with members of SFA's former board of regents during the building's ribbon-cutting. 

Story by Robbie Goodrich '82
Photos by Lizeth Garcia

Dr. Gary Wurtz and Bill ElliotTIn recognition of an $8 million gift from the Micky Elliott Family Foundation to support scholarships for SFA fine arts students, the former SFA board of regents renamed SFA's College of Fine Arts to honor the longtime Nacogdoches resident who had a deep love for the community and the arts.

The Micky Elliott College of Fine Arts was officially dedicated at the grand reopening of the newly expanded and renovated Griffith Fine Arts Building in fall 2023 as a highlight of the university's Centennial Celebration. Bill Elliott, husband to the late Micky Elliott for whom the college was named, commended his employee team at Elliott Electric Supply, the eighth largest electrical supplies distributor in the U.S., for being the driving force behind the creation and funding of the Micky Elliott Family Foundation, which allows continued contributions to SFA and other entities.

The impetus behind the Elliott Foundation gift to fine arts was the couple's appreciation of SFA and the education it provides, along with a love of music. Elliott, who majored in music at Louisiana Tech University, said he was "blown away" with the quality of SFA's music department, its faculty and students when he and his wife arrived in Nacogdoches more than 50 years ago.

"Micky and I were attracted to Nacogdoches to start our business by the presence of SFA and the effect it has on the entire community," Elliott said. "You recognize the cities that have a significant university; they have an entirely different vibe."

Other endowments funded by the Elliott family include the Micky Elliott Symphony Orchestra Scholarship, Micky Elliott Computer Science Scholarship, Micky Elliott Engineering Professorship, Gary Wurtz Jazz Scholarship and Gene Moon Professorship. When Elliott began considering a larger gift to the arts, his accountant, Robert Flores, suggested the college naming opportunity, "and it was a way for me to remember Micky," Elliott said.

Unveiling ceremony of the Micky Elliott plaque
Dr. Gary Wurtz, fine arts dean, speaks at the Micky Elliott College of Fine Arts dedication in September.