Stanford Report Online

Stanford Report, August 8, 2001
There's been a Little change; now it's Pigott Theater


These days, concert halls and stadiums regularly acquire new names -- for example, 3Com Park. For habitués, the learning curve can be steep. So one wonders how long it will take Bay Area theater-goers to absorb the fact they're now seeing shows at Pigott Theater -- not Little Theater -- on the Stanford campus.

Toward the end of last year, the roughly 200-seat performance venue next to Memorial Auditorium was renamed in honor of Stanford alumnus Mark Pigott, who gave a generous gift in support of the Drama Department's activities there.

But not to worry -- no Mr. or Mrs. Little was slighted in the process; "Little" was an adjective, not a cognomen. However, several signs around campus still need to be revised to indicate the name change, and the online searchable campus map is still unresponsive to "Pigott Theater."

Meanwhile, university event organizers are doing their best to guide people through these confusing times. Thumb through a calendar of upcoming Lively Arts events or visit the Stanford Summer Theater website and you will see "Pigott Theater" dutifully followed with the phrase "formerly Little Theater."

When Mark Pigott graduated from Stanford in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering, he was only a few units away from completing the requirements for a bachelor's in drama as well. He went on to earn a master's degree in business here in 1984. Then, perhaps inspired by his unfulfilled muse, the now 47-year-old chairman and chief executive officer of PACCAR Inc., one of the largest manufacturers of big rigs in the world, returned to the Farm to complete his drama degree, which he earned in 1998.

Mark Pigott is just one member of a family composed largely of Stanford alums who have generously supported the university over the years. Just walk around campus: There's Pigott Hall in the Main Quad and the Pigott Family Gallery in the Cantor Center for Visual Arts; three endowed professorships bear the Pigott surname; and there's a Pigott Scholarship Fund. Mark Pigott's grandfather and father also served on the university's board of trustees.

"Stanford is a wonderful institution that has benefited so many people around the world. We are pleased to continue the tradition of giving something back to the university -- in small part -- for all the outstanding education the members of our family have received," Mark Pigott said.