Betty and Art Wood shared a passion for music throughout their lives, and their legacy of supporting the arts continues through their gift of $1 million from their estate to support the Music Associates Endowed Fund at Wichita State.
Though neither graduated from WSU, the couple had a lifelong connection to the university. For more than 30 years, they financially supported many fine arts programs and were generous with their time, as well. Art, for instance, served as a member of the Music Associates Board of Directors, including a term as chair.
“Art and Betty were incredibly committed to supporting students in the arts at Wichita State, and we are amazed by the magnitude of this gift and their generosity,” says Ann Marie Siegwarth, senior director of development for the College of Fine Arts. “The legacy they’ve left with this gift will create incredible opportunities for WSU students for generations to come.”
The Music Associates Fund was created in 1993 by a group of community members to support students in the School of Music. After almost 20 years of funding, they were able to endow the fund to assist students at WSU in perpetuity.
As active members of the music community in Wichita, Art and Betty began contributing to the fund in 1994 and have been dedicated supporters over the years. Since its inception, the Music Associates Fund has been used for student scholarships, student projects, guest artists and projects or activities benefitting the WSU School of Music.
“Private support for the Music Associates Fund at Wichita State has opened doors for meaningful experiences for our students through the years,” says Timothy Shade, director of the School of Music, director of bands, and coordinator of the graduate wind conducting program at Wichita State. “This is one of the largest donations the College of Fine Arts has ever received, and I’m overwhelmed thinking about the many ways this will benefit our students and programs.”