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$25 million donation launches Sands College of Performing Arts at Pace  



$25 million donation launches Sands College of Performing Arts at Pace  

Pace University will launch the Sands College of Performing Arts this fall, named in recognition of a $25 million gift from Pamela and Rob Sands. 

Rob Sands – non-executive board chair of Constellation Brands – received his juris doctor from Pace University in 1984. He serves as the chair of the university’s board of trustees.  

Sands College will include undergraduate and graduate degrees in acting, directing, musical theater, commercial dance, production and design for stage and screen and stage management. It will become the seventh school and college within Pace University. 

The announcement comes as Pace is in the process of transforming One Pace Plaza, its flagship home in lower Manhattan, to include a state-of-the-art performing arts center with three new venues—a 450-seat proscenium theater, a 200-seat flexible theater and a 99-seat black box theater – supported by scene and costume shops, dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, green rooms and public spaces and complemented by dance studios.  

The One Pace Plaza renovation will also provide new academic spaces, common spaces and a modernized residence hall to serve the university community. 

“The creation of the college and the transformation of One Pace Plaza will cement Pace’s place in the downtown arts scene – and Pace’s reputation as a leading performing arts school,” Sands said, in a release. “Pamela and I are proud to have our names associated with such a rich history of student success, and we’re excited about the university’s bold plans for supporting our students as they work to meet the challenges of our time.” 

Sands’ father, Marvin Sands, founded the Canandaigua Wine Co. in 1945. It later became Constellation Brands, a multi-billion-dollar wine and spirits company currently headquartered in Victor. The company has announced that it will move its headquarters to downtown Rochester in 2024. 

Rob Sands became Constellation’s CEO in 2007 and served in that role for 12 years.  

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