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Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Jacobs School of Music remembers Bill Cook

The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Bill Cook, said Jacobs School Dean Gwyn Richards. A friend and philanthropist, he touched the lives of many Hoosiers and left an indelible legacy on the Bloomington community.

Committed to supporting education, Cook and his wife, Gayle, have been generous supporters of IU and the Jacobs School.

"Words alone cannot express the deep sense of gratitude we all feel towards Bill Cook," Richards said. "Among his many gifts over many years to IU, his generosity in 1987 enabled the construction of a world-class music library building that quickly set the standard by which all other collegiate libraries are compared. His long friendship and support of Professor Emeritus Ray E. Cramer and the Marching Hundred established the high-water mark of excellence that the ensemble has become known for."

The William and Gayle Cook Music Library is internationally known as one of the largest academic music libraries in the world. Beyond the size and quality of the collections, it has a reputation for providing excellent services and leading the way in the development of technological advancements in music libraries.

"It is no coincidence that many of our proudest achievements came about during and after the period when Bill Cook generously assisted the Jacobs School of Music with the renovation of our home in the Simon Center," said Philip Ponella, library director. "We continue to benefit from his generosity, as do generations of students and faculty."

Additional gifts through the years from the Cooks to the Jacobs School include the Ray E. Cramer Graduate Scholarship Fund and a lead gift for the Cook Band Building Fund, which will be used for the construction of a new Marching Hundred Hall.

"Our hearts go out to the entire Cook family," said Richards, "and we take comfort in knowing how full a life Bill Cook led, all that he cared about and all that he made possible."