The Hansen Music Fellowship Program

Raising the bar for music scholarships

The Hansen Music Fellowship Program

Megan Schmidt '07

To attract the brightest students, universities traditionally offer the best scholarships. But when it comes to convincing top music students to choose BGSU over, say, Julliard or Indiana University, even the most generous academic and music scholarships are no longer enough.

Dr. DuWayne and Dorothy ’62, ’69 Hansen hope their initiative for the most talented music students will be too good to refuse.

“We wanted to figure out what more we could do to make BGSU the most attractive choice for talented students to consider.”With the newly launched Hansen Music Fellowship Program, the best students will receive funding for beyond-the-classroom musical experiences and education. Students can tailor their fellowship experience to include activities that are best suited to their needs and career aspirations, from attending summer camps, conferences and festivals to recording, seeking new performing opportunities or touring.

“A scholarship only goes so far,” DuWayne said. “We wanted to figure out what more we could do to make BGSU the most attractive choice for talented students to consider.”

The Akron couple, who both have strong ties to BGSU's College of Musical Arts, decided that giving the University a truly competitive edge would require funding a set of professional musical experiences for students above and beyond the typical scholarship.

The Hansen Fellowship can help students stand out from their peers by enabling them to participate in activities that will become an asset for them in today's highly competitive job market.

The Hansens believe a music fellowship that allows students to pursue professional development in addition to their BGSU studies will be advantageous not only for the fellows themselves, but also for their peers and the music faculty.

“They can benefit enormously from a summer spent at the Chicago Symphony or the Cleveland Orchestra — it can open their eyes in a marvelous way,” DuWayne said. “They come back with so many new ideas.”

Back in the classroom and residence halls, fellows can share what they've learned from those experiences and serve as examples for other students of how broad the scope of a musical education can be, the Hansens said.

“We hope having these model students interacting with other students will help raise the bar for everyone around them,” Dorothy said.

The Hansens, who met at BGSU more than 50 years ago, are longtime supporters of the University's music programs. Dorothy is a two-time alumna of the College of Musical Arts and DuWayne is a former chair of the Department of Music Education.

The Dorothy E. and DuWayne H. Hansen Musical Arts Series has brought dozens of renowned performers to the University since 1996. Dorothy has also served on the BGSU Foundation Board of Directors.

“We feel a very strong connection to BGSU. We lived here, we raised our daughter here, we worked with so many fantastic faculty and students here,” DuWayne said. “Our goal is to help improve the music programs and the University in whatever way we can.”

Two incoming freshmen will be chosen as Hansen Fellows each year.

Fellowship applicants must demonstrate a record of exceptional musical performance and strong academic achievement, including a minimum ACT score of 26.

A committee appointed by the dean will oversee the selection process, and the Department of Music Performance Studies chair will manage the program.

Once selected, each Hansen Fellow will receive funding on a yearly basis, and will work with faculty to identify goals and determine how best to use the funds. Each fellow will be expected to maintain a grade point average of 3.5 each semester and to perform in a recital or featured concert each year they receive funding.