Unaware of the budding love between them at the time, Mary and George began their life together in January 1955 with a group of friends standing around a piano on Martin Methodist College campus while Mary and another student played familiar tunes with 4-hands as everyone sang. Their first date was a sock-hop in the lobby of the boys’ dorm on February 14, 1955. They were engaged in August of that same year and married June 5, 1956.
Mary majored in music at Martin Methodist and credits her piano professor, Zoe Harris, for giving her a career in music. In fact, George and Mary spent their lives together working in music as teachers, performers, church musicians, etc.
“I knew I had to start planning for Mary’s legacy to be anchored somewhere when in early to mid-2000s, her onset with the incurable symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease became evident, and Martin Methodist became the obvious place,” George said. “In essence, I wanted to pay Martin Methodist back in some small way for the profound impact the college had on both of our lives.”
Therefore, George decided to invest an amount equal to what Mary received at the passing of her parents, Herbert S. and Zora T. McConnell—memorializing them as well.
The monetary gift made to Martin Methodist will live on in the students who pass through these halls and in the form of music performed in this Recital Hall for years to come—allowing Mary and George to continue making music together as they did for more than 50 years. Soli Deo gloria!