Gretsch family visits Georgia Southern University to see family history on display

Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 4:04 PM EDT
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STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - A local university and an international guitar company hope to strike a chord with music students.

Members of the company’s founding family visited Georgia Southern University to see how some of their gifts have taken shape.

Where else in South Georgia can you see one of Bo Diddley’s gold records, or guitars used by him or other American music icons? University leaders say the contributions from the Gretsch family will impact music students in this area for generations to come.

Fred and Dinah Gretsch got their first glimpse at part of their family history on display.

Their partnership with Georgia Southern includes not only money to fund scholarships and musical instruments for students to use. But also historic pieces once used by world-renowned artists.

They’re showcased in displays at the Visit Statesboro welcome center and Plant Riverside District in Savannah.

“We support music education all across the United States. So it’s very important to us to have something in our community that we can see grow,” said Dina and Fred Gretsch.

Their donation has helped establish the university’s School of Music and bring new opportunities for students.

“The legacy of the Gretsch Company aligned with creating music teachers, educators, as well as performers for the future. And that aligned with our mission,” said university president Dr. Kyle Marrero.

They also got the chance to meet the students who used those historic family instruments to create the exhibits and tell the family’s story.

They hope it will impact students for generations to come.

The Gretsch’s have pledged roughly $3 million in donations, in addition to the historic pieces for the exhibits.

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