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Last modified: Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Statements on Lilly Endowment gift by IU music, law faculty

Menahem Pressler, Dean Charles H. Webb Chair in Music, Distinguished Professor of Piano:

The IU Jacobs School of Music has been blessed by three men who have led it with tremendous imagination and determination -- Deans Bain, Webb and Richards. With this amazing gift from Lilly Endowment, Dean Gwyn Richards is showing us his vision -- and he has the determination and ability to achieve things we could only have dreamt about. The new building will give the Jacobs School a new soul and the strength to do remarkable things. Just as our opera house has given us the ability to create and present some of the best opera in the world, the new faculty studio complex will enable us to go to even greater heights as teachers, performers and scholars. The studio is where we teach, but also where we as artists create and think, where we do our most important work. A new faculty studio building gives us the lifeblood to make a real difference to the world of music.

David Baker, Distinguished Professor, Chair of Department of Jazz Studies:

Like a fairy tale come true, this gift makes it possible to really live our dreams. For years, we've been challenged to find suitable space for our lessons, rehearsals, guest master classes, you name it! And now, suddenly, this generous gesture from Lilly Endowment takes away the problem and opens up a world of opportunity for us in our daily lives. Space is so central to how we teach, how we play, how we live as musicians. Excellent space enables excellent teaching.

Alexander Kerr, Professor of Violin, Linda and Jack Gill Chair, Department of Strings:

I am so thrilled by the news of Lilly Endowment's incredibly generous gift for the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. IU is experiencing a renaissance like no other musical institution of its kind in the country. Momentous faculty appointments, the renaming of our Jacobs School of Music and the wonderful gift from the Jacobs family for our students' scholarships -- and now a new faculty studio building that will take the school to even higher levels of excellence. This new building will create a new state-of-the-art atmosphere for our faculty and students. It can address issues such as a lack of rehearsal, practice and teaching space, and serious acoustical problems. These are major concerns of every important musical institution in the world today, and IU will be on the cutting edge, offering its students an unparalleled center for fostering their artistic visions.

Otis Murphy, Assistant Professor of Saxophone:

This extremely generous gift that has been given to the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music will be appreciated for generations to come. There was a time when our present building was state-of-the-art and could meet the needs of the School of Music. Now, this building seems to fall short of our immediate and long-term needs. I have taught in the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music since 2001, and I love my job. During my first year of teaching, however, I quickly realized that there are many limitations regarding how I could use my office for teaching. Most of these problems have been related to the size and acoustics of my office. My office space is simply too small for the saxophone's large sound. As a faculty member in the Jacobs School of Music, this incredible gift of a new studio facility is one that will have an enormously positive impact on our lives as teachers. This new facility will enable everyone, students and teachers alike, to reach new horizons in our mission here in the Jacobs School of Music. I thank the donor from the bottom of my heart for this incredible gift.

Hannah Buxbaum, Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Law:

The law school's biggest asset is its faculty -- engaged and imaginative researchers who work on cutting-edge national and international issues. This gift will absolutely transform our intellectual community, enabling us to build on that strength by hiring and retaining the very best and most influential scholars and teachers. We are so grateful for the generosity of the Lilly Endowment in supporting our development as a top public university law school.

Charles Geyh, John F. Kimberling Professor of Law:

In the past decade, the law school has developed an ambitious blueprint for its future that includes a cutting edge curriculum, an exceptional student body well-trained to represent the state and nation in a spirit of civility and professionalism, and a superb faculty committed both to the classroom and to generating ideas that will exert a profound influence on a national and global stage. This gift enables us to implement our blueprint and transform an already excellent law school into one that is world-class.

William Henderson, Associate Professor of Law:

The School of Law now has the resources to implement a truly ambitious agenda for curricular innovation, particularly in the area of professionalism. Our goal is to provide our students with the knowledge and tools to succeed in a rapidly changing environment. This includes drawing on the insights of our alumni. With these generous gifts, we will have the time and personnel to create something that will stand the test of time.