Release Date: December 8, 2008
KSU arts college receives three new scholarship endowments
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(From left) Atlanta Steinway Society President April Conaway, KSU Dean Joseph Meeks and Atlanta Steinway Society Founder Barbara Kirby.
(From left) Diann and Richard Labroff with
KSU President Daniel S. Papp.
(Standing, from left) KSU Foundation President Wesley Wicker, KSU President Daniel D. Papp, Arts Dean Joseph Meeks, KSU Provost Lendley Black and (seated) KSU Associate Professor of Art Robert Sherer.
Photos by Cheryl Anderson Brown
KENNESAW, Ga.—The College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University has recently received three new scholarship endowments totaling $60,000. The donors for each of these new endowments met with university officials last week to finalize their gifts.
"These wonderful scholarship endowments are testament to the importance of education, especially in times like these," said Joseph Meeks, dean of the College of the Arts. "These donors want to help young people complete their degrees even as the financial situation makes it more difficult to do so."
The new scholarships are the Atlanta Steinway Society Endowed Scholarship, the Nick S. Labroff Memorial Endowed Piano and Voice Scholarship and the Robert Sherer GLBT Endowed Scholarship.
In order to support KSU music students, the Atlanta Steinway Society has created its first scholarship endowment. The organization has funded annual scholarships to individual students at KSU and numerous other colleges for many years. The creation of endowment assures the perpetual funding of the scholarship so that students may benefit for decades to come.
Launched in 1980, the Atlanta Steinway Society raises money to support music students at every level of study, supports piano competitions and hosts music events to promote excellence in music throughout the community. The society was started by Barbara Kirby, who also founded the Atlanta Piano Gallery.
"We have been honored to be associated with Dean Meeks and Kennesaw State for more than 20 years," Kirby said. "The KSU School of Music is a vibrant and growing program. We are delighted to strengthen our association with it and to assist its students."
The Nick S. Labroff Memorial Piano and Voice Endowed Scholarship is funded by Diann and Richard Labroff in memory of his brother. Although employed by the Oxidental Petroleum Company, Nick Labroff fostered a lifelong love of music that began as a boy when he would listen to the New York Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts on Saturdays.
"Nick had a quick mind and a sharp wit, but his compassion, tolerance and generosity are his legacy," according to Richard Labroff, who also funded a scholarship at KSU in honor of Diann when she graduated from the Coles College of Business at KSU in 1997.
"Diann and I have enjoyed attending music events at KSU and getting to know the School of Music over the years," Richard Labroff said. "We are pleased that this tribute to Nick will help students at KSU."
The third scholarship signed at the ceremony is being created by KSU Associate Professor of Art Robert Sherer who wishes to help gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students, particularly students in the KSU Department of Visual Arts. An internationally exhibiting painter who has represented the United States in the Florence Biennale of Contemporary Art in Italy and the Triennale of Contemporary Art in Paris, France, Sherer is funding the scholarship primarily through proceeds from the sale of his Blood Works series of paintings, which depict images of flora and fauna to explore issues of "love and loss in the age of AIDS."
"Although most of our and staff are also donors, Robert Sherer is only the second to commit to fully endowing a scholarship," Meeks said. "This is a remarkably generous gift." Professor of Music David Watkins has a longstanding piano scholarship endowment.
So far in 2008, the KSU College of the Arts has received gifts and pledges of more than $200,000 for scholarship endowments, including the Eric & Gwendolyn Brooker Music Endowed Scholarship, which was established in February.
"The university is deeply appreciative of our friends in the community who have continued to offer such generous support," said KSU President Daniel S. Papp. "The trust they have shown in the education we provide our students will continue to have an impact well into the next century."
At Kennesaw State, a minimum gift of $20,000 is required to create an endowed scholarship. These funds are the principal, which will never be spent and exist in perpetuity to benefit students. A benefactor may choose to fully fund an endowment at the beginning or fund it over a period of three to five years. After the initial endowment, the benefactor, friends or family may continue to make gifts to build the endowment in order to benefit more students.
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A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 21,000 from 142 countries. The third-largest university in Georgia, Kennesaw State offers more than 65 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education and business.
The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts programs.