James R. Martin '65: The Gift of Music
James (Jim) R. Martin ’65 was not a music student at DePauw; he studied history and economics. And so his most recent commitment of $100,000 in support of the School of Music is a bit unusual. But not to Jim. His mother graduated from DePauw in 1931 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music. He is also a current member of the board of directors at the Knoxville, Tenn. Symphony Orchestra.
“Music itself is central to the liberal arts education. Music is in all facets of life, in all types and part of any culture, so the opportunity to be exposed to a breadth of music is important,” Jim said.
When fellow classmate Tom Porter ’65 told Jim about the transformational work happening at DePauw under Mark McCoy, dean of the School of Music, Jim was intrigued. “Certainly in my case, in the philanthropy that I’ve done, it’s that you give to people rather than to things,” Jim said. Jim celebrated his 50th reunion this past summer with a gift to the School of Music, which honors his classmates and provides opportunities for current students.
Jim’s contribution gives the School of Music flexibility to support its greatest needs. The first installment of his gift funded a trip to Washington D.C., which allowed students in four ensembles – DePauw Jazz Combo, DePauw Chamber Singers, Asbury String Quartet and DePauw Cello Ensemble – to accept an invitation to perform at the White House on Dec. 20, 2014, providing them with the performance opportunity of a lifetime.
During the 2015-16 school year, the gift will provide scholarship dollars to support the school’s first pillar ensemble. This touring chamber group is made up of two first-year students, one sophomore and one junior. “The School of Music is bringing all facets of music to the student body in a much more user-friendly environment, ” Jim says.
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