Janet Elizabeth Gascoigne Voyles Music Education Scholarship established 

MURRAY, Ky. — A generous gift from Janet Gascoigne Voyles, 1977 graduate (B.M.E.) of Murray State University (MSU), to establish a scholarship endowment has a unique twist. Recently, Voyles received a gift of a clarinet from her former faculty instructor at MSU Don Story. Now Voyles wants to take that gift and “pay it forward” as Story, now retired, suggested as a way to thank him for his kindness.

Voyles gives private music lessons to students in Evansville, Indiana, teaching as many as 50 students at the same time. Since Voyles and Story keep up with each other through Facebook, he knew that she would be able to put the clarinet to good use with her students.

Voyles is repaying Story’s generosity by donating the funds for an endowment at MSU. In a recent visit to campus with her husband, John, for a luncheon with Story and his wife, Donna, and campus community members, Janet presented the University with a $25,000 check. The funds will be invested for one year, with the first scholarship to be awarded in 2017-18.

“Seeing the interactions between Mrs. Voyles and Professor Story reminded me, yet again, of the fact that Murray State is truly a special place — one where students have the opportunity to work closely with qualified faculty who enjoy teaching and mentoring the talented, bright students who have chosen Murray State. Those relationships often continue after students graduate. We appreciate Mrs. Voyles’ generosity, which will allow deserving music students to take advantage of such opportunities,” noted Staci Stone, interim dean of the college of humanities and fine arts.

The Janet Elizabeth Gascoigne Voyles Music Education Scholarship will assist students at Murray State who are studying music education. A one-time award, the scholarship will be open to full-time music education majors in any year of study at Murray State.

“It was my educational experience at Murray State that propelled my own passion for playing music and created the desire to share and teach that passion,” Voyles said. “I have found wonderful ways to do that in my life, as my degree from Murray allowed me endless opportunities to explore, expand and share my love and knowledge. It is with humble gratitude to Mr. Story and my entire Murray experience that I hope to continue that passion and opportunity beyond my own boundaries through this endowment.”

“Musicians, especially those who teach, are constantly sharing their time, their art and their love of music with their students. These teachers know how important music and music teachers have been in their lives and they want to recreate this for their students. Janet’s gift is a testament to teachers who inspire others, given by one who continues to inspire her students. Her scholarship will help many future teachers as they prepare for a career in music education and it establishes a great model for others who want to nurture our future music educators,” Pam Wurgler, chair of the department of music, said.

Anyone interested in establishing an endowed scholarship at Murray State University can contact the office of development at 270.809.3001.

A luncheon was held to celebrate a “pay it forward” scholarship at Murray State University. MSU graduate, Janet Gascoigne Voyles, established a scholarship endowment to pass on the generosity that her former professor, Don Story, recently showed her. Pictured (from left) are Dr. Staci Stone, interim dean of the college of humanities and fine arts; Donna Story; Don Story; Janet Voyles and her husband, John Voyles; Dr. Bob Jackson, MSU Foundation president; Tina Bernot, interim executive director of development; and Dr. Pam Wurgler, chair of the department of music. — MSU photo
A luncheon was held to celebrate a “pay it forward” scholarship at Murray State University. MSU graduate, Janet Gascoigne Voyles, established a scholarship endowment to pass on the generosity that her former professor, Don Story, recently showed her. Pictured (from left) are Dr. Staci Stone, interim dean of the college of humanities and fine arts; Donna Story; Don Story; Janet Voyles and her husband, John Voyles; Dr. Bob Jackson, MSU Foundation president; Tina Bernot, interim executive director of development; and Dr. Pam Wurgler, chair of the department of music.
— MSU photo
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