The Phil Hardin Foundation paid tribute to one of its founding board members, Dr. Joe Covington, by presenting a $250,000 gift in his name to the Meridian Symphony Orchestra.
“It really means a lot because of Dr. Joe Covington and his many, many years of dedication and service to the Phil Hardin foundation, as well as to the Meridian Symphony. He has been a part of both organizations for many years, and it’s indeed an honor for us to receive this,” said Susie Johnson, executive director of the Meridian Symphony Association.
The money will be used to establish an endowment found and to support the orchestra’s educational programs.
“$125,000 dollars of that will be used to create an endowment, the Dr. Joe Covington Endowment, to pay for guest artists at symphony concerts, and they have quite a few through the years of outstanding quality. Then another $125,000 –the other half– is used to pay for the next five years for their educational concerts,” said Lloyd Gray, executive director of the Phil Hardin Foundation.
Dr. Joe Covington, who’s a retired physician, served on the foundation’s board for 52 years. He retired from the board earlier this year. Covington said he’s elated to receive such an honor.
“I’m much appreciative and consider it an honor. I’m very happy about it.”
Gray explained why the foundation chose to support the symphony.
“The Hardin foundation is an education foundation, and we feel like the symphony plays a great educational role in the community, not only in their direct education outreach efforts to the schools and the young people in the community, but just educating the population at large about the great music that we have.”