“Tonight we honor our friend Tom Kinnison (1947-2018) by dedicating the concert hall to his memory. From this day forward, the theater will bear the name Kinnison Hall.
“Tom Kinnison’s passion for the arts and this community were fueled by his understanding that art communicates truths too deep for words to express. His vision for this facility, a place to nurture and experience art in all its forms, was in itself an artistic creation. Out of inexpressible gratitude, we name this hall in his honor.”
(Dr. Erin Hanke, September 20, 2018)
Sheridan College Press Release:
On Thursday, Sept. 20, Sheridan College will announce the renaming of Whitney Center for the Arts Concert Hall to Kinnison Hall, in honor of the late Tom Kinnison. A mural commemorating his life and legacy will be unveiled to mark the dedication, and a public announcement will be made prior to the piano concert at 7 p.m.
Located on the wall outside the entrance to the Hall, the mural features Kinnison’s favorite view of Black Tooth Mountain and two images of him, one as a young man and one while serving in the Wyoming Legislature. It also describes Kinnison’s impact on Sheridan College, the community and the state of Wyoming:
“As a community leader, Tom Kinnison has inspired many with his courage and determination. Even to his own surprise, the formerly unambitious youth found his passion as an effective advocate for the community of Sheridan and the State of Wyoming. As a former City of Sheridan Councilman, Wyoming State Senator, and a Wyoming House Representative, Tom fought to help others succeed, including the students who come through the doors of Sheridan College. In 2000, Tom was appointed to the Whitney Benefits Board of Directors where he continued his advocacy for the betterment of the Sheridan community. Tom’s passion and love for Sheridan College flows throughout the campus…his legacy will live within its halls for generations to come.”
Whitney Benefits board president, Wyoming legislator and fierce advocate for higher education, Kinnison left an indelible mark on the community and Sheridan College. He served on the Whitney Benefits board of directors for 18 years and was instrumental in advancing many projects at Sheridan College, including funding new facilities, programs, faculty and staff. He was also proud to have attended Sheridan College as a young man.
“Tom was a truly remarkable man who worked tirelessly on behalf of Sheridan College,” said Sheridan College President Dr. Paul Young. “After today, students, community members and anyone who visits Kinnison Hall will be reminded of and inspired by his legacy.”
Kinnison passed away on Sunday, July 1, 2018 in Sheridan at age 70.