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Chief Advancement Officer Joe Montgomery and Head of School Brent Bell congratulate Kim Tunnell, the inaugural Zelle Chair of Fine Arts, during Thursday's Brown Faculty Appreciation Dinner.

Tunnell named inaugural Zelle Chair of Fine Arts

5/11/2016 9:17:00 AM, 1,157 views

Director of Fine Arts Kim Tunnell has been named the inaugural Robert and Anne Zelle Chair of Fine Arts, announced Chief Advancement Officer Joe Montgomery at the Brown Faculty Appreciation Dinner last week. 

"Campaigns cast long shadows and their impacts are felt many years after their conclusion," Montgomery said. "I am pleased to announce the establishment of the Zelle Chair of Fine Arts, given in memory of Robert K. “Bobby” Zelle Jr. ('72) by his parents. Bobby's love of the arts motivated his parents' philanthropy throughout their lives." 

Bobby Zelle died the December after his graduation from Darlington, and it was always his parents' intent to establish a faculty chair in his memory. The Zelle Chair of Fine Arts was made possible thanks to their $1 million estate gift.

Tunnell, who has been member of Darlington’s fine arts faculty since 2001, has three decades of experience in education. She taught music and chorus at both the Lower and Middle Schools before being named director of fine arts in 2009.

"I am truly humbled and honored to be the first to receive and carry this title," she said. "The Zelle family has been so generous and thoughtful to give a gift to Darlington that allows us to not only promote the arts programs, but to support and sustain them and continue to make the arts such a valued part of the lives of our students."

Tunnell holds a B.M. and B.M.E. from Shorter College as well as an M.M.E. from the State University of West Georgia. She and her husband, Mark, are the parents of Jack (’15), Hillary (’18) and Sarah (’22).

The Zelles' generosity to Darlington and the fine arts, in particular, has been felt over the years. They supported the construction of the Zelle Fine Arts Building in 1972, which was also named in memory of Bobby. This facility houses the chorale room, band room, theatre and art studio. Extending from the front of the building, the Zelle Patio is a popular area to hold outdoor luncheons and gatherings.

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Amy Monroe
10:24 PM
Congratulations Kim! You are one of the hardest working and most enthusiastic faculty members on campus!
Cindy Stinson
2:52 PM
Perfect first recipient! Kim has set the bar high for those who will follow! Congrats!
Leigh Ann Lundy
9:25 AM
Congratulations Kim! What an honor, but so well deserved!!
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