Of all the things that the late state Sen. John A. Cade loved, Anne Arundel Community College ranked near the top.
He learned to play the piano at the Arnold school. In 1989, he organized a fund-raiser for the school's art department. And in April, he sponsored a bill that increased aid for Maryland's community colleges by pegging their subsidies to the level of state funding for the University of Maryland System.
Yesterday, the college returned the favor by naming its new performing arts building after the influential Republican from Severna Park, who died Nov. 14 at age 67.
The John A. Cade Center for Fine Arts will unite such disciplines as art, dance and music under one roof on the West Campus of the college. School officials called the dedication a fitting tribute to a man who championed the construction of the $10.8 million building.
"As a state senator, Jack Cade was a strong advocate of community colleges and particularly our college," Walter J. Hall, chairman of the board of trustees, told about 100 school and political dignitaries. "He loved this college, he loved the arts, and he loved his fellow man."
Ardath M. Cade, his wife of 22 years, said her husband would have been slightly embarrassed to be honored. "But I think you all know that this building was very special to him," said Cade, who was flanked by other family members. "It truly is his heart and soul and I thank you."
The three-story building is under construction, but the Cade family, school officials and politicians got a sneak preview.
The 59,000 square-foot center will contain six general-purpose classrooms; nine soundproofed practice rooms; five art studios; two drama/dance studios; a multimedia studio; a teleconferencing center; a choral music hall, and an art gallery.
The building also will have a 250-seat outdoor amphitheater and a 460-space parking lot. The center will open officially April 24, said Martha A. Smith, college president.
The building is needed to accommodate the more than 500 students majoring in the fine arts, said Robert Kauffman, head of the performing arts department.
Trustee Robert J. DiAiso said he remembered when the late senator chose to play the piano rather than lobby potential voters at a campaign party at DiAiso's home in Crofton during Cade's 1974 run for state Senate.
"A guest came up to me and said, 'This is a great party, and you have some great entertainment, but when is Jack Cade going to get here?' " DiAiso recalled, drawing thunderous laughter. "Jack enriched our lives, and now this building will enrich everyone else's."
Pub Date: 12/19/96