June 30, 2010
Estate gift by Nebraska couple includes grand piano
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State University students who are studying the piano now have a special instrument on which to practice thanks to the generosity of a Stanton, Neb., couple. A Baldwin M1 grand piano was part of an estate gift by the late Rolland and Maxine Deardorff, and is now housed in the Olive Deluce Fine Arts Building.
Members of the Northwest Department of Music and the Northwest Foundation as well as Dr. Charles McAdams, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, were on hand for the recent dedication of the piano.
"It is indeed a privilege to accept an instrument like this not just because of the quality of the instrument but also because it will be such a benefit to Northwest students," McAdams said. "This practice room where it is housed is only for students who are serious about studying the piano. It's nice to know this instrument will lead its 'second' life here at Northwest."
Dennis Collins and Donna Funk of Norfolk, Neb., representatives of the Deardorff estate, also were present at the dedication ceremony. Collins said the piano, previously located in the first floor parlor of the Deardorff home, was cherished by Maxine Deardorff.
"Although Maxine was a private person, she was very musical," Collins said, "and we like it that Northwest has taken an interest in not just the estate, but also in this piano. This piano will continue to make beautiful music."
During the dedication ceremony, Dr. Charles Badami, instructor of music and collaborative pianist at Northwest, performed "Widmung" ("Dedication"), a composition by Robert Schumann, arranged by Franz Liszt, on the donated piano.
Rolland Deardorff, who died in 2005, was raised by his grandmother in Maryville, Mo., and graduated from Horace Mann High School on the Northwest campus and also attended Drake University. His wife, Maxine Deardorff, died Nov. 5, 2009, at the age of 97. She graduated from Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Mo., and received a master's in music from Northwestern University. They married in 1945 and lived in Pickering, Mo., for one year prior to moving to a farm they owned just west of Stanton, Neb. They sold the farm and moved into Stanton in 1951. During this time, they purchased the Stanton Telephone Company, which they operated for 35 years before selling it in 1980.
Teresa Gustafson, a development officer with the Northwest Foundation, said in addition to the piano, the couple made a provision in their trust to establish an endowed scholarship fund for Northwest students that will be awarded annually based on a student's academic achievement and financial need.
The estimated estate gift is valued at more than $2 million, and an exact figure will be announced once the details of the estate have been finalized.
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