STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Famous artists have played Gretsch instruments to make music and make its name synonymous with quality all over the world.
Georgia Southern University leaders say bringing that name to the School of Music enhances their reputation too.
A $3 million donation from the Gretsch family establishes the Dinah and Fred Gretsch School of Music from what has been Georgia Southern’s music department.
“With the size of the gift, we’re elevating the department to a school which is the next level in the academic enterprise,” Georgia Southern President Dr. Kyle Marrero said.
In addition to funds, the family also donates a collection of priceless heirloom instruments and brings their wealth of connections in the music industry. The financial pledge also helps the university do everything from purchase instruments to promote its students and offer scholarships to better compete for the best music students in the country.
“We can get the people we want to get, with this, and have a much better shot at getting them,” GSU Music Chair Dr. Steven Harper said.
Parts of the plan include establishing a performance stage at the new Plant Riverside District in Savannah and an exhibit of some of the historic Gretsch instruments and occasionally bringing some of those famous artists associated with the company into town to play.