The Ira & Nancy Koger Center for the arts demonstrates the cooperative spirit present in South Carolina. Its construction is the product of a shared dream and a shared labour of love for many in the community; a combined effort, with both public and private entities contributing to make this dream a reality.
The center is named for philanthropists Ira and Nancy Koger, who made a substantial donation from personal and corporate funds for construction of the $15 million center. The descendants of Ambrose Elliott Gonzales, Narciso Gener Gonzales and William Elliott Gonzales made a large donation to the center and the auditorium is named Gonzales Hall in acknowledgment of their contribution.
Other major donations to the construction costs were made by the Knight Foundation of Akron, Ohio, Richland County, and the City of Columbia. The University of South Carolina and the Carolina Research and Development Foundation obtained private gifts for the remainder of the construction costs.
Special gifts include a Steinway concert grand piano which has been donated to the Koger Center by Alice Barron Pearce and her two children, L. Gregory Pearce, Jr. and Alice Barron Pearce Stewart, in memory of L. Gregory Pearce.