Indiana University has announced a $6.5 million planned gift from Mary H. Wennerstrom, Jacobs associate dean emerita for instruction, and her late husband, Leonard M. Phillips, to its Jacobs School of Music.
One of the largest estate gifts ever committed by a retired faculty member of the Jacobs School, the gift to establish the Wennerstrom-Phillips Piano Scholarships program and the Wennerstrom-Phillips Music Library Directorship Endowment within the William and Gayle Cook Music Library will be matched by the university.
Wennerstrom and Phillips were both piano performance students at IU and earned academic doctorates from the Jacobs School — in music theory and musicology, respectively. Wennerstrom joined the Jacobs School faculty in 1964, served as chair of the Department of Music Theory from 1979 to 2002, and retired as associate dean for instruction after thirteen years in that role in December 2015. Phillips, who minored in piano and, like his wife, studied with Bela B. Nagy, taught piano and academic music courses at the University of Central Arkansas. He later was employed by the Indiana University Foundation and the Jacobs School of Music, retiring in 1997, and served a term as president of the Friends of the Lilly Library. The couple's previous gifts to the Jacobs School include an award for music theory teaching and an endowment gift for the Cook Music Library.
"Mary Wennerstrom served the Jacobs School in a variety of capacities for more than fifty-one years, leaving an indelible mark on our students, curricula, and future," said Jacobs School dean Gwyn Richards. "The gift that she and her husband, Leonard Phillips, have made provides a lasting opportunity for our Cook Music Library and our school, its students, and its faculty. It also ensures that Mary and Leonard will continue to have a positive impact long into the future on a school they loved so much, and which, in turn, loved and admired them beyond measure."