College of Charleston SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

Wayland Henry Cato Jr. Gives $1.5 Million Gift to School of the Arts

The College of Charleston is proud to announce that Wayland Henry Cato, Jr. has given, on behalf of himself and his wife, Marion Rivers Cato, the College’s School of the Arts a $ 1.5 million gift. The amount is the largest single gift ever given to the College of Charleston School of the Arts. The announcement comes less than a month before the School of the Arts begins construction on a new state-of-the art facility next to the current Simons Center for the Arts building on St. Philip Street. In appreciation of their support of the School of the Arts, the College of Charleston will name the new arts center “The Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts.” Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new facility are scheduled for June 3 at 9:30 AM.
“For many years, Wayland and Marion have contributed significantly to the education and development of South Carolina’s students. Their efforts on behalf of the College of Charleston alone have impacted our state in ways we could not have anticipated, and many of the recipients of their generosity have become outstanding public servants themselves,” says College of Charleston President Lee Higdon. “In their tireless dedication to the arts, Wayland and Marion have demonstrated their recognition of the link between the development of the individual and the stimulation of creative thought in all disciplines. Above everything else, however, Wayland and Marion have shown what it means to be true public servants.” Wayland Henry Cato, Jr. is a distinguished business leader, family man and philanthropist whose generous support of higher education, here at the College of Charleston and elsewhere in the Carolinas, has enhanced educational opportunities for hundreds of students. He is the Chairman Emeritus of The Cato Corporation, a chain of women’s apparel stores. Since 1997 he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the College of Charleston Foundation. Both personally and corporately, he has generously endowed scholarship programs at the College of Charleston.
Marion Rivers Cato is a talented author, dedicated community volunteer and devoted citizen of Charleston. In 1991 Marion Rivers Ravenel published Marie Ravenel: From Childhood to China, an account of a medical missionary in revolutionary China in the 1920s. She authored a biography of her father, Rivers Delivers: The Story of L. Mendel Rivers, which was published in 1995. Marion Rivers Cato is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Historic Charleston Foundation and South Carolina Educational Television, and a member of the Board of Visitors of Converse College. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of Charleston Ballet Theatre and Huguenot Society of South Carolina.