Inspired by the vision and timely need behind the outdoor theatre, Driscoll has graciously sponsored the Rose Theatre project in memory of her grandmother, Dorcas Crosby Homes, who attended Mary Baldwin when it was a seminary for educating young women.
Born in 1883, Homes attended the seminary at some point, but Driscoll is not sure exactly when, despite attempts from MBU staff to find her school records from the time. She thinks that her grandmother could have come to Mary Baldwin as a teenager, which was common at the time, with some students starting as young as elementary-school age, according to To Live in Time, a history of Mary Baldwin by the late history professor Patricia Menk.
“I wanted to do something in my grandmother’s memory, and when Mary Baldwin contacted me about the opportunity to create the outdoor theatre, I thought that would be a good fit,” Driscoll said. “She taught school, was very into music, and directed all the church plays.”
Driscoll grew up on a farm near Spring Hill, a town northwest of Staunton, and her grandmother lived with the family. She treasures fond memories of playing the piano and reading together before Homes passed away in 1970.
“She was a sweet southern lady and just a wonderful role model,” Driscoll said. “I think everyone has a favorite grandmother who is just a special, special person to them, and she was mine.”
Driscoll attended Buffalo Gap High School and then went on to Virginia Tech, but she has called the Staunton area home all her life. She and her husband, Bob, are committed to supporting the area’s cultural and historical organizations.
“I hope the theatre will still give students the opportunities they were hoping to have, especially our performing artists, while helping to keep them safe,” she said. “It’s a grand project and a very necessary project, so they can be in a safe environment while they continue their studies in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. I hope that a lot of people will benefit from it.”