Former Weber State University student Sid W. Foulger and his wife donated $5 million to the School of Music at WSU. The donation will provide resources to enhance WSU’s music program.
At a piano concert in Washington D.C., performed by acclaimed WSU music student Fan-Ya Lin, it was announced that a $5 million donation had been given to endow the music program at WSU. A new music school named the Sid & Mary Foulger School of Music was to be established, named after the donors.
Foulger is currently traveling out of the country engaging in other charitable work; however, WSU President Ann Milner was the force behind the negotiations with Foulger to get the endowment.
“Performing Arts is an exceptional program at Weber State University,” Milner said. “They have demonstrated that through the excellence of our students and their ability to compete nationally and regionally with the best students from music programs and performing arts programs all across the country.”
Milner said she came to Foulger because of his known passion for music and his past attendance at WSU.
“He credits Weber State for giving him his start,” she said. “And this is an opportunity for him to give back to the university, to the community in which he was raised, and in a way that celebrates his passion for music.”
Brad Mortensen, vice president for University Advancement, talked about the kinds of opportunities the money will provide for both students and staff.
“It will help them (students) to attend and perform competitions and venues and give them money to travel and support them to do that,” he said. “It will give us money to bring in master teachers and offer the finest in instruction. It will help with student scholarships so that we can recruit students who are highly talented and have a desire to come to Weber State but are being recruited by other schools of music.”
In addition, Mortensen stated the money will also help train faculty and fund performances, as well as provide musical instruments and state-of-the-art equipment for music students.
An example of how students benefit from additional resources is WSU senior and choral education major Kimberly Graff. She was the recipient of financial aid that helped her to be a part of WSU’s music program.
“Weber State is very good to their students,” Graff said. “They’ve been good to me and have always given me some money to help with college.”
Millner talked about the hope she had for the WSU music program and where she felt it had the potential to go.
“I want them to become the music program of the Rocky Mountain West,” she said. “They (prospective music students) don’t have to think about going to music programs in the East or in California. They can think about going to this exceptional music program at Weber State University, and this gift will enable that.”
Graff agreed with this assessment.
“I think we have outstanding professors and yet we are a small university,” she said. “And sometimes we are, I think, in the shadow of other universities in the Wasatch Front and don’t receive as much attention as other universities, but we have so much to offer; our music program is just outstanding.”