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Music School of Delaware unveils new wing name

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by Jess Moore
Special to Delaware Business Times


Music School of Delaware’s CEO Kate Ransom and donor William J. Stegeman unveil the name of the school’s new wing – the Johann Sebastian Bach Music Wing.

The Music School of Delaware unveiled the name of a new wing less than a decade in advance of its centennial celebration.

The Johann Sebastian Bach Music Wing was named by William J. Stegeman, a longtime adult student at the school, who donated $100,000 to the Anthony G. Simmons Scholarship endowment at the music school, and has pledged $250,000 to match annual fund donations of at least $5,000.

In the past year, Stegeman has donated over $1 million to the school.  At the unveiling ceremony, he dedicated the wing to Kate Ransom, the school’s CEO for the last 16 years.

“Stegeman has been an adult learner for 15 years and he’s a dear friend of mine. I met him through the school when I became his violin teacher” said Ransom. “He loves music and has a special dedication to the music school.”

The school garners about 33 percent of its income through contributions and donations, with tuition and fees filling in the rest.

“Our goal for contributions is to be 50 percent of our income. The board has been heavily engaged in the process of communicating to current and prospective donors,” said Ransom. “We want those closest to the school as well as everyone in the region to be aware of the school, understand the impacts that it provides, and hopefully become supporters. We want to see every current family that is involved in the school to become donor families.”

The new wing is fully funded by people in the community through a campaign that has garnered over $4 million.

“You can have a good school based on tuition, but you can’t achieve excellence without being able to advance,” said Ransom. “The contributions that people make help our students advance.”

Ransom said that Stegeman’s gifts are a demonstration of his passion for the arts and a testament to the strength of the school’s Board of Directors and lead donor base. “I am profoundly grateful to Bill. He has shown unprecedented commitment to regional arts and a great devotion to the school and our programs. Major gifts, endowment gifts and matching gifts such as these are transformational, each in their own way, providing residents throughout the Brandywine Valley and the region access to excellence in the arts.”

Dr. William Stegeman is CEO and senior scientist of Jackson ImmunoResearch Laboratories Inc., the company that he founded in 1982 with partner Ralph C. Hood Jr. and two investors. He has served on the board of the music school since 2010 and has been a student in violin and viola since 2001.

Founded in 1924, the Music School of Delaware offers standard-setting instructional programs for all ages and has a faculty of nearly 100 expert artists and educators with branch locations in Wilmington and Milford and over 20 satellite and outreach sites statewide.

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