Why I give


“When the lights were down—then, selectively lit again, the minimalist music of Philip Glass was heard. The dancers began their movements—and—I was transformed—at one with the performers… These words express what it means to me to participate as a member of the audience… I am always somehow lifted to another realm of being… It is vibrant. It is vital to existence.”

Ethel Tison Chaffin (MA ’81) in a letter to Bala Sarasvati, Jane Willson Professor of the Arts and CORE Dance Company director, after attending a dance performance.

Ethel Tison Chaffin studied modern dance, has met renowned founders of modern dance and taught in her own dance studio at one time. With her husband, Professor Emeritus Verner Chaffin, she now supports the Department of Dance through generous annual gifts and through The Chaffin Dance Enhancement Endowment established in 2008.