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An endowed chair at the University of Notre Dame, Judd Leighton established the Judd and Mary Lou Leighton Director of Performing Arts in 2003. Throughout the years, Judd and Mary Lou were very dedicated to supporting the arts. They were active with the operations of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and were major contributors to Notre Dame's DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts. The 900 seat Leighton Concert Hall in the Center bears their name, and is significant for both its architecture and its acoustics.

The endowment allows the University to continue building it's performing and visual arts programs, while offering students artistic opportunities not previously available to them. The gift will also help the University strengthen its bond with the community by enhancing opportunities for involvement in campus performances.