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November 30, 2023

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College of music to offer new scholarship for freshmen

The College of Musical Arts is ready to implement its new scholarship, and although this program doesn’t pay for living expenses, supplies or tuition, it will offer recipients benefits not offered by any other scholarship.

The Hansen Music Fellowship will be awarded to new students starting in the fall as a way for the University to enhance the music program by offering benefits out of the classroom. The scholarship will be awarded to up to two incoming freshmen each year with up to eight students receiving benefits at the same time.

“I think it’s awesome that they’re able to do that. I mean, it’s money for doing something that you absolutely love,” junior music education major Alex Blosser said. “Why wouldn’t you want to do that?”

The program includes $11,000 in rewards: $3,000 as a freshman to attend a summer music program, $1,000 as a sophomore for lessons or masterclasses, $1,000 as a junior to fund an original composition for their senior recital, $3,000 for their senior year to record a debut CD or play a recital at a venue of their choice and $1,000 annually to pay for miscellaneous expenses.

“These activities that they’ll be able to do will just give them an incredible experience that they won’t be able to get anywhere else,” Department Chair of Music Performance Studies William Mathis said. “Not even at the very top music schools.”

DuWayne and Dorothy Hansen, who started the program after planning it with the University, endowed the University with all of the funds needed to continue the

program indefinitely.

DuWayne, retired chair of the music program, and Dorothy, two-time alumna of the College of Musical Arts, are longtime supporters of the music program. The couple started both the Hansen Music Fellowship and the Hansen Musical Arts Series, an event that brings renowned performers to

the University.

“We feel a very strong connection to BGSU. We lived here, we raised our daughter here, we worked with so many fantastic faculty and students here,” said DuWayne in a news release by the University. “Our goal is to help improve the music programs and the University in whatever way we can.”

While the Hansens fund the program, a faculty committee chooses which applicants to award the scholarship to.

Candidates are required to complete an interview and academic profile review with a faculty committee, show what Dean of the College of Musical Arts Jeffery Showell calls “tremendous performance ability” in an audition and score at least 26 overall on

their ACT.

Recipients will also need to maintain a 3.5 GPA at the University to keep the scholarship.

Showell said that since the scholarship will be bringing highly skilled musicians to the university, he expects to see the recipients set a positive example for the rest of the students.

“I think students sometimes learn more from their fellow music students almost more than they do from their professors because they spend more time with their colleagues,” Showell said. “To have these sort of students seated amongst the undergraduates provides a great example for everybody.”

The scholarship program will be reviewed in four to eight years to determine if it will continue. While the program could possibly end, Mathis said it should go indefinitely since it will draw musical leaders to

the program.

“It’s a great recruiting tool,” Mathis said. “The hardest part about this whole thing will be deciding which two we choose.”

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