|Flourish Online Magazine||Fall 2008|
Donor Spotlight: William Tapp
Jazz Inspires a Love of KSU
By Lauren Highfill
Photo by Melissa Ray
To say William Tapp loves jazz would be an understatement. “I have jazz music playing 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he says. In fact, “The best jazz on the radio plays between midnight and 3 a.m.”
Tapp is more than a lover of jazz; he’s a passionate connoisseur. As a now-retired architect, Tapp has always had a love of the arts. He spent his younger years in the Big Band era, listening and dancing to live performances by Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey and others. Over the past few decades, Tapp has developed a strong appreciation for music at Kennesaw State.
“Kennesaw State has one of the best jazz bands in the country,” he says. “They put a 20-piece band out there that’s equal to any of the big bands there used to be.”
Music is part of what has inspired Tapp’s gifts to the KSU College of the Arts. He and his daughter recently purchased a seat in the performance hall of the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center, where the KSU Jazz Ensemble often plays.
“We named the seat in memory of my wife of 47 years, Frances, who was a wonderful lady,” he says. “She loved music, too,” he continues with a smile, “but not as much as I do.”
Tapp is happy to be involved in the music program at KSU and sees the benefit of his and others’ continued support. “It seems there is a new building every time I go on the campus. That shows the vitality of the college and the contribution that it’s making in providing employment, entertainment and a place to get an education that a lot of people would not get otherwise,” he says. “Kennesaw State makes a major contribution to this community and to the county, so we are very blessed to have it.”