Neva Langley Fickling Hall Dedicated
April 28, 2003

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MACON – After an evening of music from the "Piano Mania" concert, featuring Neva Langley Fickling and friends, Mercer University dedicated its state-of-the-art recital hall in Fickling’s honor, naming it the Neva Langley Fickling Hall on Saturday, March 29. The recital hall is located in the new Allan & Rosemary McCorkle Music Building on the Macon campus.

"It is most appropriate that the hall where Mercer’s music students practice and perform be named for someone who has dedicated her life to the passion, practice and performance of music and to the performing arts in Central Georgia," said Mercer University President R. Kirby Godsey.

Fickling began playing the piano when she was seven years old. Her talent as a pianist helped her win the coveted title of Miss America in 1953. The only Miss Georgia to wear the Miss America crown, she is also the only contestant to win all three preliminary contests in the national pageant.

A graduate of Wesleyan College, Fickling holds an honorary doctoral degree in Fine Arts from her alma mater. She is the recipient of the prestigious Lady Bird Johnson Award and the Woman of the Year Award from the Keep America Beautiful Commission.

A longtime friend of the performing arts in Georgia, Fickling has shared both her musical talent and her leadership with organizations and events. Among her numerous activities, she has served on the boards of The Gina Bachauer Piano Competition, the Macon Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, The Georgia Council of the Arts and the Park City Chamber Music Society, and has been president of the Morning Music Club. She is also the founder of the Georgia Women of Achievement, an annual award given to women of outstanding achievement in Georgia.

A wife and a mother of four grown children, Fickling resumed her public performances in 1989, with a series of recitals in Georgia, North Carolina, Utah, Florida and Italy. She has performed as a guest soloist with the Macon, Utah, and Benevento, Italy, symphony orchestras.

The exquisitely appointed 200-seat Neva Langley Fickling Hall is the crown jewel of the new Allan and Rosemary McCorkle Music Building and the University’s music program. Considered one of the best concert halls in the state, the intimate auditorium offers state-of-the-art acoustics and a superb performance space designed to support the highest caliber of musical events, including recitals, operas, choral and vocal presentations, instrumental works and jazz ensembles. Among its outstanding features are a Richards, Fowkes & Co. pipe organ and professional recording and multimedia equipment.

The "Piano Mania" concert also showcased the talents of Edward Eikner, the Catherine L. Comer Professor of Fine Arts at Wesleyan College; John N. Roberts, the Callaway Professor of Music and chairman of the Mercer University Department of Music; Jean Roberts, a senior lecturer in the Department of Music at Mercer; and Joan Godsey, for whom Mercer’s Joan Stockstill Godsey Music Scholarship was established.

Founded in 1833, Mercer is a 7,300-student, comprehensive, Baptist-affiliated university, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees through the College of Liberal Arts, the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, the Tift College of Education, the School of Engineering, the Walter F. George School of Law, the School of Medicine, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, the Southern School of Pharmacy, the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology and the College of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta and regional academic centers in Douglas County, Covington, Griffin and Eastman. The University also operates the Mercer Engineering Research Center in Warner Robins and the Mercer University Press in Macon. For the past 13 years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Mercer among the leading universities in the South.

High-res. photos available

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