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Clarke Alum Donates $1 Million to Music

June 14, 2013

Clarke University Receives $1 Million Gift from Alumnus

Anonymous Gift to Support Music

Clarke University announced today that they have received a $1 million gift from an alumnus celebrating her 50 reunion year.  The donor, who wished to remain anonymous in making her gift, is a 1962 graduate of Clarke and earned her degree in music.  The donation has been designated to support the needs of the music department. 

In conversations with Clarke, the donor spoke of a life-long love of the arts, an appreciation she directly attributed to her experiences as a student. While the donor has been a continual contributor to Clarke, she also wanted to make a significant gift at an appropriate time. She wanted this donation to make the greatest impact possible for the students in the music program and could include everything from infrastructure to scholarships.

Clarke University and the donor both agreed that initial use for some of the funds should go toward making structural improvements to Clarke’s stately arts building, Eliza Kelly Hall.  Eliza Kelly Hall (formerly known as the Conservatory of Music and Art, and The Fine Arts Building) was built in 1906 and is the oldest building on Clarke’s campus.

Historically, Clarke has maintained a solid reputation for education in the areas of art and science, which dates back to its founding in 1843.  In that year, the Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVMs) travelled from Philadelphia to the Iowa territory to fulfill their mission of education. On that journey the BVMs brought with them a piano, for the purpose of educating “the whole person.”