November 13, 2016
Friends of Louisburg College dedicated the Ray Hodges Fine Arts Complex on Nov. 11, paying tribute to a community leader who loved the college and the arts.
The facility, adjacent to the Jones Performing Arts Center, includes a 2,100-square-foot visual arts studio, renovated teaching spaces, improved technology and a music wing.
Emily Hodges and Allison Hodges Westmoreland, daughters of Ray and Arlene Hodges, officially opened the complex in memory of their parents. The Hodges, a longtime Louisburg family, started Hodges Insurance Agency 65 years ago and have participated in the life of their town and Louisburg College for generations.
Ray Hodges had served as chairman of the town’s Board of Adjustments and was a member of the Louisburg College Board of Trustees when he died in 2012. Emily Hodges was appointed to fill his seat, the third generation to serve.
Professor of Art Will Hinton, a close friend of Ray Hodges for 30 years, told a crowd at the ceremony, “When Ray paid attention to you, he honored you. … He was a champion at inclusion. Most of us understand and experience anticipatory anxiety. … Ray lived a life of anticipatory joy.”
Hinton and Hodges had talked about plans to improve the college’s fine arts facilities in 2011, but Hodges died before the dream could be realized.
Family and friends stepped up to honor him, donating money for a drawing studio, ceramics studio, art appreciation and music classrooms, offices, music practice rooms, potters wheels and easels.
In memory of a community leader, benefactor, artist, husband, father and friend, the complex now teems with energy and creativity. Ray Hodges’ legacy lives on in the music and pottery and paintings that will be made there for years to come.