A Model for Academic Excellence

A horticulturist and entrepreneur by trade and an artist at heart, Sally Finzel knows a workman is only as good as his tools. So when she lost her beloved aunt, acclaimed harpsichordist Eve Kugler, and uncle Arthur several years ago, she and husband Professor Bart Finzel decided to honor the extraordinary pair by putting first-rate instruments in the hands of Morris students. The Eve and Arthur Kugler Fund will honor the Kuglers and sustain Morris's capacity for high-quality performances. "If you're a musician and you want to do the best you can, you have to have good instruments," says Sally. "It's important to have good tools."

Another Morris family enriched the Music Discipline on behalf of a loved one this year: Martha and Brian Williams, wife and son of the late Professor Ralph Williams, created the Ralph and Martha Williams Fund in memory of the founder of Music at Morris. Ralph was one of Morris's original faculty members; Martha managed the campus post office and played violin in the original orchestra, while Brian played trumpet in the early days of Jazz Fest. "Our family's background is inextricably tied to the University," Brian says, and they wanted "to be sure to have a connection to UMM's present as well as its past." Music, they say, is at the heart of the campus mission. "Music enriches, entertains, [and] the Williams family is delighted to make a contribution that will help ensure UMM music keeps its exciting quality."

It's said language is what makes us human. Thanks to the Barber Lectures in Literature, Morris students and scholars can learn more about this fundamental human expression. Influential English faculty members Professor Emeritus Laird H. Barber and the late Dorothy Klein Barber have made possible the lecture series, which enriches campus dialogue about contemporary literary issues, through annual gifts and a charitable gift annuity. Barber believes it's important for faculty members to give back to their institutions and encourages others to do so. "I have every reason to believe the lectures are beneficial to campus," he says. "As a faculty member, you benefit from a gift, too."