The Cleveland Orchestra has announced a $9.3 million gift from the estate of Jean Hower Taber.
The gift, which was not revealed until after Taber's death, will support the orchestra's programming as it enters its second century serving the Northeast Ohio community. In addition to being a member of the orchestra's Heritage Society, Taber gave generously to its annual fund and attended concerts regularly over the decades.
Established in 1994 to promote planned giving support, the Heritage Society currently counts more than six hundred individuals who have informed the orchestra that it is included in their estate plans. In addition to her bequest, Taber created a charitable gift annuity with the orchestra in 2001 that provided her with a regular income stream during her lifetime and distributed approximately $500,000 to the orchestra following her death.
Taber was the great granddaughter of John H. Hower, one of the founders of the Quaker Oats Company. In addition to her support for the orchestra, she also provided the University of Akron with more than $7.7 million during her lifetime and served as a trustee for the Cleveland Natural History Museum.
"I cannot possibly express how grateful we all are at the Cleveland Orchestra for this extraordinarily generous — and completely unexpected — gift," said executive director André Gremillet. "Jean Hower Taber truly loved the Cleveland Orchestra and believed in the power of music to change lives. She was a loyal donor for many years but had not hinted to us just how generous her final gift might be. On behalf of all of us at the Cleveland Orchestra, and the many people around the world like Jean who love this institution, we extend our heartfelt gratitude."