UNK Music Department Receives $1.3 Million Anonymous Gift


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, DougKristensen says the gift came at a great time and the school is extremely grateful to the donor.

"Thisgift represents continued and meaningful investment in our quality musiceducation and performance programs, the impact of which will be felt fordecades 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 provideannual scholarships for undergraduates studying vocal music.

Another $500,000 permanentendowment will be allocated to the Mildred Lantz Macdonald Collaborative Piano Fund. This fund supports the salaries of UNK staff pianists. Mildred A. Macdonaldtaught piano from 1958 to 1985 and continues to attend performances bystudents 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 honorof longtime teacher and musician Bettelee Frahm Lewis who has played with theKearney 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 theUniversity of Nebraska Foundation, much of the donor's support for the music department has established permanently endowedfunds that provide annual support for student scholarships and academic musicprograms.

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

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