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IU Media Relations

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IU School of Music

Last modified: Thursday, November 17, 2005

IU School of Music receives $40.6 million gift

World-renowned school to be known as the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Nov. 17, 2005

SPECIAL NOTE: Indiana University is saddened by the news of the death of Barbara B. Jacobs, who passed away in Cleveland on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005. Her groundbreaking gift to the newly named Jacobs School of Music is one of many to IU that will forever assist talented students as they study at her alma mater.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Adam W. Herbert announced Thursday (Nov. 17) the naming of the IU School of Music in honor of the late David H. Jacobs and his wife, Barbara, of Cleveland. The school will be known as the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in recognition of Barbara and David Jacobs' long history of leadership and service to Indiana University and to the IU Foundation, as well as their gift of $40.6 million for the school.

It is the largest single gift for a school of music at a public university. It is also the largest single gift ever given by individuals to IU.

The Musical Arts Center on the Indiana University Bloomington campus

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The Jacobs School of Music -- which will begin its second century in 2010 and is considered one of the world's pre-eminent institutions for the study of music -- will use $20 million of the gift to endow graduate student fellowships and $10 million to endow undergraduate scholarships. The gift also establishes endowed faculty positions, including the Dean Charles H. Webb Chair in Music, the Henry A. Upper Chair in Music and the David H. Jacobs Chair in Music. Additional funds will be used to support a number of varied initiatives within the school.

The Jacobs gift qualifies for matching funds set aside by IU for the purpose of supporting endowed scholarships, fellowships and faculty positions. This will effectively double the annual distribution of income earned on the gift in these areas.

"This extraordinary gift will add even greater luster to one of Indiana University's brightest jewels," Herbert said. "We are profoundly grateful to Barbara and David Jacobs for their generosity, which will enable our School of Music to attain even higher levels of excellence in performance, scholarship and creative activity. It is with great pride that we name one of the nation's best music schools in their honor."

Jacobs School of Music Dean Gwyn Richards said the gift will make a transformative difference in the school's ability to realize its long-term goals.

"It is impossible to overstate the meaning of this gift to the School of Music," Richards said. "It provides for student support, faculty chairs and discretionary funding which when coupled with university matching funds creates an extraordinary resource with which to realize the aspirations of our school. The Jacobs have placed in our hands a more certain future, freeing us to plan long term, extend our reach and strengthen core values. We are indebted to them for their foresight, for their commitment to public education and for their interest and dedication to the cultural life of our nation."

David and Barbara Jacobs' son David Jr., who was instrumental in inspiring the gift, said, "As a former student of Indiana University School of Music, I have observed many great triumphs of the school over the past 30 years. I hope that my mother's gift will ensure that the excellence for which the school is known will continue long into the future. Nothing would be more gratifying to me than to know that talented and deserving young musicians will be able to pursue a superb musical education because my mother cared."

David H. Jacobs

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Born in 1921 in Akron, Ohio, David H. Jacobs earned a bachelor's degree in business from IU Bloomington in 1947 after wartime service in the Navy. He married Barbara Barrow Jacobs, who graduated from IU in 1948. Their three children, Marie, David Jr. and John, also attended IU. David Jr. studied at the School of Music in the early 1970s and developed a friendship that continues to this day with Emeritus Dean Charles Webb, his wife, Kenda, and their four sons. Barbara and David made multiple gifts for student financial support and academic departments and programs across the university. However, they always had a special interest in the School of Music and supported it over many decades with their gifts.

David H. Jacobs and his brother Richard (B.S. 1949) are widely credited with helping to spark the revitalization of downtown Cleveland, investing in multiple projects in the city including Key Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the United States. Together they built 41 regional shopping centers in 14 states, as well as office buildings and hotels. The Jacobs brothers owned the Cleveland Indians from 1986 to 2000, during which time Jacobs Field was constructed and opened. Today, it is considered one of Major League Baseball's premier stadiums. David H. Jacobs died in 1992.

Barbara Jacobs has been a member of the IU Foundation Board of Directors since 1989. She served as national co-chair of the Academic Endowment Campaign for IU Bloomington, which raised more than $500 million for the campus in the late 1990s and brought IU from near the bottom to the top of the Big Ten in number of endowed faculty positions. Among her many contributions are the David H. Jacobs Chair in Strategic Management at the Kelley School of Business; the David H. Jacobs Chair in Infectious Disease at the IU School of Medicine; and the Barbara B. Jacobs Chair in Education and Technology at IU Bloomington.

Barbara Jacobs

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She received an honorary doctorate from IU in 2000 at the rededication of the IU Foundation's Showalter House in Bloomington. For her service and dedication to IU, she was also awarded the Thomas Hart Benton Mural Medallion.

Barbara Jacobs is a civic and cultural leader in Cleveland and Florida. Through longstanding service to numerous organizations, she has supported the arts, education, hospitals, health associations, human services and churches.

"The philanthropic tradition established by Barbara and David Jacobs is as long and deep as their connection to IU," said Curt Simic, president of the IU Foundation. "For more than five decades, Jacobs family members have been connected to the university as students, alumni, friends, volunteers and donors. Nothing speaks more strongly to their love for IU and commitment to its continued excellence than this extraordinary gift for the School of Music."

With more than 1,600 students -- approximately half of whom are undergraduates -- and over 1,100 performances a year, the Jacobs School of Music is among the largest institutions of its kind in the world. Its graduates include some of the world's most successful performers, conductors, composers, music educators, scholars and managers of arts organizations. The school's vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere attracts students from all 50 states and more than 50 foreign countries. Each year approximately 320 international students come to the school to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees.

School officials have long recognized that their students are facing increasing financial challenges. Added to students' tuition payments are the costs of room and board, performance study fees for private lessons, the cost of instrument maintenance and repair, the purchase of concert attire, travel expenses and competition fees. Direct assistance to these students through scholarships, faculty support, facilities and the purchase of musical instruments is central to the mission of the institution.

Charles Webb, who served as dean of the School of Music from 1973-97, said the Jacobs gift will make it possible for the school to continue its tradition of leading the world in music education, performance and research. "This gift will greatly enhance the quality we've always considered central to our mission," Webb said. "When you attract first-class students and the best faculty available, and provide them with world-class facilities, you have a school that's absolutely without peer." The School of Music has been ranked first in the nation by Change magazine, the Chronicle of Higher Education and U.S. News & World Report.

In just the last two years, the school has added a significant number of luminary artists and teachers to its faculty ranks, including pianist André Watts, violinist Jaime Laredo and soprano Carol Vaness. All three appointments were made possible by the university's "Commitment to Excellence" program, which is helping the school add four eminent master teachers. The school currently boasts 160 music faculty members who comprise what is often referred to as the single greatest gathering of music faculty in the world. Some of the world's finest teacher-performers have made Bloomington their home base.

The school's academic departments provide important leadership in research, educate future collegiate faculty, and provide undergraduate and graduate music majors with the most comprehensive curriculum in the nation. With one of the largest university music libraries and research facilities in the United States, the school provides a wealth of resources to its faculty, staff and students.

The school also has more than 13,500 living alumni who hold leading positions as performers, educators and scholars throughout the United States and around the world. The list of alumni includes some of the music world's greatest performers, such as violinist Joshua Bell, bassist Edgar Meyer and sopranos Sylvia McNair and Angela Brown.

For more information about the school, including photographs and news about current events, visit

To speak with Jacobs School of Music Dean Gwyn Richards, Dean Emeritus Charles Webb, David Jacobs Jr., IU Foundation President Curt Simic, IU music faculty or IU music students, please contact Ryan Piurek at 812-855-5393 or, or Alain Barker at 812-856-5719 or

A Webcast of the announcement of this gift from David and Barbara Jacobs can be viewed at

Television stations may make arrangements for a video uplink or a videotaped copy of the news conference through WFYI in Indianapolis.