UNK Music Department Receives $1.3 Million Anonymous Gift - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

UNK Music Department Receives $1.3 Million Anonymous Gift

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The University of Nebraska at Kearney has received an anonymous donation to be used in the Department of Music and Performing Arts.

The university says the $1.3 million gift is to be used to for student scholarships, faculty aid, and other endeavors.

The university's chancellor, Doug Kristensen says the gift came at a great time and the school is extremely grateful to the donor.

"This gift represents continued and meaningful investment in our quality music education and performance programs, the impact of which will be felt for decades to come," continued Kristensen.

A permanent endowment of $600,000 will go towards the Lavern Clark Memorial Vocal Scholarship Fund, named in honor of the late Kearney art patron. The fund will provide annual scholarships for undergraduates studying vocal music.

Another $500,000 permanent endowment will be allocated to the Mildred Lantz Macdonald Collaborative Piano Fund. This fund supports the salaries of UNK staff pianists. Mildred A. Macdonald taught piano from 1958 to 1985 and continues to attend performances by students and faculty in the UNK music department.

The other $200,000 is split between additional scholarship help and another permanent endowment for the Frahm-Lewis Trio Support Fund. The fund supports UNK's faculty piano and strings chamber ensemble. It is named in honor of longtime teacher and musician Bettelee Frahm Lewis who has played with the Kearney Symphony Orchestra since 1941.

The anonymous donor has given a total of more than $4.7 million to the music program through the University of Nebraska Foundation.

According to the University of Nebraska Foundation, much of the donor's support for the music department has established permanently endowed funds that provide annual support for student scholarships and academic music programs.

"Our music students and faculty are so grateful for this extraordinary gift that is certain to have a significant impact on the quality of our programs," shared Valerie Cisler, professor of music and chair of the Department of Music and Performing Arts.

"Most impressive is our donor's wish to honor longtime distinguished musician-educators from the Kearney and UNK community by designating the endowments in their names. I can think of no higher form of generosity," added Cisler.

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