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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Announces Major Gift to Establish Bower School of Music

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University today announced a $2.5 million gift from Alan and Marilyn Korest to establish the Bower School of Music in memory of Edwin H. Bower to support the new music program, which is designed to prepare musically-gifted students for successful careers in performance, teaching and related careers.

The gift will be placed in an endowed fund and matched by the State of Florida's Major Gifts Trust Fund with $2.5 million, thereby doubling the value of the gift to $5 million, which will be used to develop highly-skilled musicians who are also broadly-educated and responsible citizens.

"With this gift Alan and Marilyn not only honor the memory of her father Ed Bower and extend Ed's music legacy, but also create a desired niche of excellence for Florida Gulf Coast University that will improve the quality of life of the region," President William C. Merwin said.

"Upon graduating its first students and receiving national accreditation, the Bower School of Music will expand its degree offerings to include Music Therapy, a program of increasing importance to Southwest Florida and indeed beyond."

The Bower School of Music offers students musical and academic preparation for careers in music while also providing preparation for life in the 21st century through general education and interdisciplinary studies.

The academic programs and associated activities will provide the University community and residents in the greater region with accessible and fulfilling cultural offerings, expose area school children to music experiences of significance, and enhance partnership opportunities for the benefit of students and the general public.

Donor Alan Korest said, "The Bower School of Music will focus on providing its students with broad-based, creative and innovative music education of academic and performing excellence. It is our hope that Bower School of Music will enrich the cultural life of the greater community."

The Bower School of Music's mission is to develop students' individual musical skills, knowledge of musical structure and style, group performance skills and leadership skills acquired through the music program.

"The Korest's generous gift to support excellence in the education of musicians at FGCU will benefit our students and the greater community for generations," said founding director of Music, Nancy Cobb-Lippens.

"The Bower School of Music student and faculty join me in giving our heartfelt thanks to these outstanding philanthropists."

FGCU Vice President for University Advancement Steve Magiera said, "Alan and Marilyn have been good friends of Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation for many years. Their commitment to quality is steadfast and we are proud they have entrusted FGCU Foundation with this gift that will continue to support excellence in the Bower School of Music in perpetuity."

For more information, media representatives should contact senior director of Advancement Judie Cassidy at (239) 590-1058.

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