Elmhurst College has established two endowed scholarships to benefit students in the Elmhurst College Jazz Band and the College’s guitar program.
The Jim Cunningham Jazz Scholarship
The Jim Cunningham Jazz Scholarship benefits students of any major who participate in the Elmhurst College Jazz Band. The scholarship’s namesake was the founding father of the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, one of the country’s oldest collegiate jazz festivals.
Without Cunningham’s presence and support, the Jazz Festival would be a mere footnote in the College’s history, said Doug Beach, director of jazz studies and the Jazz Band. Cunningham shifted the focus from competition to education, creating an environment where collegiate musicians could not only perform but also learn from the pros. Cunningham died in April of 2013. The first Jim Cunningham Jazz Scholarships will be awarded in Spring 2020 for the 2020-21 academic year.
The Emmanuel Family Guitar Endowed Scholarship
Created through the generosity of Elmhurst alumnus Fred Gretsch ’71, his wife, Dinah, and the Gretsch Company, the Emmanuel Family Guitar Endowed Scholarship benefits guitar students at the College.
The scholarship was established this past fall to honor Grammy-nominated guitarist, composer and performer Tommy Emmanuel; and in memory of his sister, Virginia, and brother, Phil. The first recipients of the Emmanuel Family scholarship will be selected this spring.
Tommy Emmanuel will perform a special concert on campus this fall to benefit the scholarship fund. The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18, in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel (190 Prospect Ave., Elmhurst). General admission is $50 per person. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the concert will be donated to this fund.
“Finding ways to make it easier for our students to concentrate on their studies, and less on how to pay for those studies, is always a goal for us,” said Peter Griffin, chair of the music department. “These two scholarships will provide financial assistance to countless students well into the future. We are forever thankful to all those who have made these scholarships possible.”
Gifts to the Jim Cunningham Jazz Scholarship Fund or the Emmanuel Family Guitar Endowed Scholarship Fund can be made online; by calling (866) 794-1075; or by mailing a check to Elmhurst College Office of Institutional Advancement, 190 S. Prospect Ave., Elmhurst, IL 60126. Please be sure to designate the fund you’d like your gift to support.