The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 9, 2012

Gala concert proceeds endow new MSSU music scholarship

By Mary Duncan

JOPLIN, Mo. — A new scholarship for music majors at Missouri Southern State University — called the President’s Music Scholarship — is fully and permanently endowed, according to university officials.

“This scholarship will be an annual, renewable scholarship,” said Michael Fontana, MSSU’s development officer for annual funds and scholarships. “Initially it will be awarded to only one student a year. It will probably grow with the interest in the endowment and allow more students to be selected for the scholarship each year.”

President Bruce Speck led the creation of the scholarship, which included contributions collected from the President’s Gala Concert on Oct. 4. The concert has been an annual event since 2008.

Students and faculty members participate in the concert, and Speck also provides a vocal performance.

Proceeds from the fifth annual President’s Gala Concert also supported Missouri Southern’s music department, the Debra Snodgrass Endowed Piano Scholarship and the Friends of MSSU Music Fund. The latter also provides scholarships and assistance to students.

Kay Cypret, a senior music major at MSSU, was excited by the development.

“I think the scholarship will help the growth of the music department and foster maturity,” she said. “It’s such a great thing because it helps build interest in the students and get the community involved.”

Students who want to apply for the President’s Music Scholarship must maintain a 3.0 grade point average and be music majors at Southern. Eligible students also will have to submit an essay. Students will be selected by Jeff Macomber, head of the music department.

Fontana said the first recipient will be determined during the next academic year. The amount of the annual scholarship is expected to be around $400 or more, depending on the investment proceeds from the scholarship endowment.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the music department and our students,” Macomber said. “We are grateful for the support and the love for music that is helping our students succeed. Dr. Speck’s generosity has been much appreciated. The scholarship is going to help students for years to come.”

Next concert

THE SIXTH ANNUAL President’s Gala Concert is planned for Oct. 3, 2013, in Taylor Performing Arts Center at Missouri Southern State University.