- Planned Gift Brings New Music to BU
- Dr. William Chefurka Gives a Gift of Music
- Brandon’s Father of Development leaves his legacy
- For Gooden’s Sake
- A legacy of Life Insurance
Planned Gift Brings New Music to BU
Through a generous planned gift from Brandon College alumnus, Betty Knowlton (class of ’43), the BU School of Music has been able to add a valuable Kawai baby grand piano to their instrument bank.
Betty led a very full life, highlighted by her time in Brandon and at Brandon College (now University). It was there that she met her husband, Hugh. The couple lived in several cities, but always seemed to return to Brandon, where Betty was active in the community. She was involved in the Independant Order of the Daughters of the Empire and the Brandon Regional Health Centre Foundation.
In particular, Betty loved music. That is why, when she purchased the piano, she decided that it belonged at the BU School of Music. The new baby grand piano has a wonderful new home at BU, where it is already well-used by School of Music Students. The piano is an ideal size for small chamber groups and for the Suzuki Program, which teaches music to children based on the “mother tongue” approach.
Mark Cramer, piano technician in the School of Music, is pleased that BU has received such a gift. “It had been our intention to purchase such a pian for two years, but we simply did not have the resources to make such an investment.” This gift means that funds earmarked for the purchase can now be allocated towards maintaining the integrity of existing instruments.
Dr. Glen Carruthers, Dean of the School of Music, agrees. “In the past year or so, the School of Music has received a couple of very fine instruments – a rare violin last fall and an exquisite piano this fall. These gifts in kind are a terrific way to donate to our School of Music. It places quality instruments in the hands of our faculty and students. We are very grateful to Betty Knowlton for remembering us in this way and look forward to other instrument donations as our Standing Ovation Campaign
Dr. William Chefurka Gives a Gift of Music
Brandon University School of Music students have a “new” instrument to add to their collection with the fulfillment of a planned gift by Dr. William Chefurka—a scientist and educator who, upon retirement, renewed his interest in playing the violin after a 25-year hiatus.
Dr. Chefurka designated a 162-year-old Jean-Baptiste Villiaume violin (1842) and two bows to the University. The violin is the French equivalent of a Stradivarius, (the legendary Italian violin manufacturer of the 16th century). “It has a clear, resonant tone—it projects well,” Dr. Chefurka said of the maroon-coloured instrument, which he purchased at Christie’s Auction House in London, England.
The Villiaume violin will be added to the School of Music’s instrument bank, which provides students with access to high-quality instruments during their studies. Dr. Glen Carruthers, Dean of the School of Music, is enthused, not only by the donation, but by the way in which Dr. Chefurka has stipulated the instrument be used. “I think this is terrific. We have many brilliant young string players in our program who will benefit greatly from having the opportunity to play such a fine and rare instrument.”
It was Dr. Chefurka’s experience at Brandon College that formed his decision to designate his violin to the University. As a student, Dr. Chefurka earned his tuition by working on campus, and wanted to give something back to the school that enabled him to pursue his career in science and education.
“Bandon College (which became Brandon University in 1967) was good to me. The opportunities to go to school at the time were few and far between. I phoned (then Brandon College president) Evans up, and he made arrangements to have me work around campus, doing chores and odd jobs.”
The money from Dr. Chefurka’s chores and odd jobs always seemed to add up to just the right amount for that year’s tuition, and he graduated from Brandon College with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1946.
Dr. Chefurka continued his education at the University of Minnesota, then Montana State College. He obtained his doctoral degree from Harvard University, putting his musical interests on hold as he pursued his science career.
Before he donated the Villiaume violin to BU, Dr. Chefurka gave it a regular workout—more than 20 hours per week of practice, rehearsal and performance. On September 21, 2005, Dr. Chefurka donated the 162-year-old violin, made in Paris in 1844 to the School of Music at a Dean’s Series concert, which recognized the legacy he was leaving. The violin has an estimated value of $50,000 CDN.
Brandon’s Father of Development leaves His Legacy
Following in his father’s footsteps, Bill Fotheringham has ensured the future of Education in Brandon and rural communities.
Even though Bill Fotheringham has passed away, his principles and values live on through land and monetary donations he has made to Brandon University.
Shortly before his death in 1999, Fotheringham transferred a unique piece of prairie land to the university so that students could use it for research. He also made monetary donations over the years to assist the university in growing its campus infrastructure, improving its resources and conducting the research that is so essential to students’ education.
Dennis Anderson, past president of Brandon University, said that Fotheringham always showed an interest in enriching the opportunities for students to study.
Along with his donations, his family also has a long tradition of supporting education in Brandon. Not only did they once own the land that the university stands on, but his father was one of the nine business men during the Depression to take action and ensure the fate of the University.
As a civil engineer, Fotheringham was also a member of Brandon’s business community for over forty years.
“He was like a father to development in Brandon,” said Jack Jacobson, owner of Jacobson and Greiner construction. “He set the standards and kept city engineering going, that’s for sure.”
Up until his death, Fotheringham was responsible for developing most of the city’s west end. “Most of his projects, including the university, focused on striving to make Brandon more then just a prairie town,” said Robert, Bill’s son. “My father wanted the city of Brandon to have the university as a source to bring in people from all over rural Manitoba and Saskatchewan.”
Robert also said that his father wanted to ensure that people in the city and the rural communities continued to have somewhere to go to school and further their education.
Fotheringham believed education was the key to success not only individually but also for the community as a whole. This is something he made sure his family knew. “I see a lot of my dad in Bob and my own kids now,” says Lindsay, Bill’s daughter. “He embedded the importance of education in all of us and taught us that education is imperative to achieve success.”
Essentially, Fotheringham was driven to give back to the community which he believed was worthy of his loyalty. He served as a board member of the Brandon Regional Health Centre, the Brandon Industrial Commission, the Brandon University, the Keystone Centre, and Knox United Church.
Although he supported many charities and foundations in Brandon, he never wanted any recognition. “He was an individual who didn’t want a lot of fanfare,” said city councilor Rick Chrest. “He did a lot of good in his own way. If you looked up gentlemen in the dictionary, you might find Mr. Fotheringham’s picture there.”
By: Ashley Wawrykow
For Gooden’s Sake
Some people are energized by a challenge, give more than they take, and always seem to leave a place better than they found it. George and Mary Gooden are such people. The Goodens are both alumni and strong supporters of the University and the Brandon community.
George and Mary started at Brandon College in 1939. But George says that his initiation into the business world started early when his father became ill while George was attending Brandon College. At 19 years of age, George tried to work, run the business and go to university but found that he couldn’t do it all. By his own admission he began dropping courses until he was no longer attending university. In 1949 he officially took over the family enterprise and continued its successful operation for over 40 years.
George reflects that as years went by, he regretted never having finished his university studies. Finally, in the early ‘60’s with all three of their children (Kent, Jill and Bill) in junior high, George went back to Brandon College to finish what he had started and graduated in 1964.
George is an inspiring example to his community. In addition to his acute business acumen and having an active community and family life, George has left his mark on the community through his leadership roles with numerous organizations. He served Brandon University as President of the Alumni Association, was Chair of the Board of Governors, and played a key role in the creation of the Brandon University Foundation, which received its official status in 1980. He became the President of the Foundation in 1989 and remains an active member of the Board today. His community involvement extends far beyond BU. He was a strong advocate for the fundraising requirements for the Child and Family Services building, was President of the Kinsmen Club of Brandon, was on the Board of the Downtown Business Improvement Association and the Brandon General Hospital, to name some highlights.
Mary is extremely active and involved in the community in her own right. She has many personal interests and owned and operated her own art gallery for 15 years. She is a very talented potter and continues to support the local art scene and all of her husband’s activities.
In 1993, Brandon University presented George with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree. “I was totally flattered and humbled,” said George. “I felt that there were a lot of deserving people and didn’t consider myself to be in the same league.”
The University is very special to this remarkable couple as Mary explains, “Brandon College just keeps giving and giving. The more we participate, the more we get back. It really is a rich connection.”
A number of years ago, George and Mary decided that they wanted to do something for the community they love so much. After careful thought, they made a provision in their will for Brandon University. George remarks, “You don’t work on the Foundation for as long as I have without some of it rubbing off. Over the years, I noticed there were many worthy projects that had to be turned down because the University had other financial commitments. We both enjoy our BU Association, and wanted to create an endowment that would go to the area of greatest need.”
The Goodens are enthusiastic supporters of Brandon University and openly endorse planned giving as a way for alumni to create a lasting legacy. They emphasize that the process is easy. Says George, “You have to make the decision and then follow it through.”
A Legacy of life Insurance
Eileen McFadden has had a long and valued association with Brandon College and Brandon University. She graduated from Brandon College in 1953 and later returned to serve in the John Robbins Library. Eileen eventually served as Director of the Library and became the first University Archivist. As She neared retirement, it was Eileen’s wish to establish an endowment fund to develop archival facilities, collections and services for Brandon University.
In the 1990’s, Eileen purchased a life insurance policy. She immediately transferred ownership to Brandon University. Within a few years, she had paid up the entire policy of approximately $8,000 and she received a charitable tax receipt from the University for the premium payments.
An endowment will be established upon the realization of the life insurance benefit. At today’s rates the policy is worth over $37,000 (a substantial growth over the original investment). The endowment will support a variety of activities that are close to Eileen’s heart within the Archives including:
· Student & faculty research
· Student participation in conferences
· Preparation of finding aids for collections held in the archives
· Public Programs including displays, conferences, and public addresses
Brandon University is very grateful to Eileen for the legacy that she has left and encourages others to consider life insurance as part of their estate and charitable planning process.
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