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Hanson Memorial Fund offers unique benefit to students

| Jenna Erickson, Music LA and Communications Major

Established back in the 1970s, the Madeline and Caroline Hanson Memorial Fund contributes to a more inclusive Music and Theatre Arts Department, offering low interest loans to students for the purchase of musical instruments that do not need to be paid back until after graduation. This fund is a very unique and beneficial one to have at our university, as there is enough in the fund that if a student qualifies the department will be able to offer students the money needed. The criteria to qualify is very simple: applicants must be music degree-seeking students who meet requirements for applied lessons and ensembles and must meet a GPA requirement of 2.0 or above. The loan also has a very simple application process. 

Dr. Gretchen Peters, Department chair of Music & Theatre Arts and Professor of Music History states, “It has been fun to watch students get new musical instruments through this process.  A new instrument can change a student’s ability to meet their goals.” 

In the last 3 years, 15 students have taken advantage of the opportunity, with 4th-year Instrumental Music Education Student, Nora Reschke being one of them. 

“I was in the search for a new clarinet after speaking with my professor, we decided it was time. I was playing on the clarinet that I got my freshman year of high school so as a junior in college, it was time for a new instrument. I had talked to Dr. Stewart about my clarinet search, and he told me about the Hanson Music Loan. All I needed to do was fill out a document where I explained why I would benefit from the loan.”

After Reschke filled out the easy application document, she had a meeting with Dr. Peters to discuss her future and usage of the loan, where she would then determine the amount she could receive. She then was able to go to Blugold Central to move the money into her bank account where she then was able to pay for the new clarinet. 

“This loan has really benefited me. Before, I was performing on a $800 student clarinet and my clarinet professor said that I have outgrown that clarinet. I knew that I did not have the funding to purchase a new clarinet with a price tag ranging in the thousands. Because of the loan, I was able to find a clarinet that better suits me where I am as a musician while also not needing to worry about paying for it right away.” 

Reschke believes as a future music educator, that this type of program would truly benefit her future students. “It gives students the opportunity to find something they like, and something that best suits them for where they are as a musician. It takes the financial fear out of someone when having to make a choice only based on money.”