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April 16, 2015 Volume 36, No. 27

MU receives largest gift to the fine arts in university history

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An artist's rendering of the future School of Music building. Courtesy of Mizzou News.

A Missouri couple gave a $10 million gift to the University of Missouri on April 10 to help fund the proposed School of Music building. It is the largest gift to the fine arts in MU’s history.

The gift from Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield, who live in Westphalia, Missouri, kicks off the fundraising efforts for the new School of Music building.

The proposed site for the building is the northeast corner of Hitt Street and University Avenue. The building is part of a larger project that will include the renovation of the Fine Arts Building. The construction of both will greatly improve facilities for the MU theater and art departments.

The Sinquefields are long-time supporters of music and the arts, specifically music composition.

Their support for composition at Mizzou began more than ten years ago with the Creating Original Music Project, a statewide K-12 competition and affiliated high school summer camp. In 2009, they gave $1 million to create the Mizzou New Music Initiative, which offers an array of programs, including the Sinquefield Composition Prize, which is MU’s highest honor for a student composer.

In 2013, the Sinquefields gave an additional $1.4 million to continue the programs. This new gift, along with previous gifts to other areas around campus, brings the Sinquefields’ total giving to MU to more than $13 million.

Jeanne Sinquefield said she hopes the most recent gift improves the facilities for composers as well as Mizzou musicians.

“We want Mizzou to become an international mecca for music composition,” Sinquefield said.