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Appalachian’s School of Music Receives $10 Million Gift

hayes.jpgBOONE–As more than 1,200 students prepare for weekend commencement ceremonies at Appalachian State University, officials today announced the largest “graduation” gift in the university’s 101-year history.

Mariam Cannon Hayes of Concord, a longtime supporter of higher education and the arts at Appalachian, has made a $10 million endowment gift to the university’s School of Music, Chancellor Francis T. Borkowski told faculty, staff and students gathered at the Broyhill Music Center.

“This unprecedented gift elevates Appalachian’s School of Music and its programs to the highest possible level of music education and service to the state and will make Appalachian one of the strongest schools of music in the Southeast,” he said.

Dr. Borkowski also announced that the Appalachian Board of Trustees, recognizing her nearly 40 years of commitment to students and involvement in music and the arts at Appalachian, has named the school the Mariam Cannon Hayes School of Music.

Proceeds from the endowment will fund current and future needs in the School of Music and “forever benefit students by strengthening the nature and scope of music education at Appalachian,” said board chairman John A. Allison IV. Allison also chairs the university’s Campaign for the Second Century.

“The Mariam Cannon Hayes Endowment for Musical Excellence will provide our students and faculty access to the finest quality of performance instruments; bring noteworthy performers to campus to share their talents and interact with students; and increase scholarship support, making Appalachian more competitive in recruiting top music students in the state and across the Southeast,” said School of Music Dean William G. Harbinson.

“It also will expand the outreach of our music ensembles to the region and nation, and provide faculty travel for scholarly research, study and presentations,” he said.

Mrs. Hayes and her family have been associated with Appalachian and its music programs for nearly four decades. She and her late father, Charles A. Cannon, were instrumental in founding Cannon Music Camp at Appalachian in 1969. The camp brings hundreds of high school musicians from across the state and the Southeast to campus for four weeks of instruction and performance each summer.

Mrs. Hayes is an active member of the School of Music’s Advisory Board. She is a former member of Appalachian’s Board of Trustees, having served on the board from 1981-89. She was a member of the university’s board of visitors in the 1960s and 1970s.

Mrs. Hayes is president and director of the Cannon Foundation in Concord and trustee of the Charles A. Cannon Charitable Trusts.

In 1994, she received the Appalachian Medallion from the university. The highest honor bestowed by the university and its Board of Trustees recognizes long and significant service to Appalachian.

The Mariam Cannon Hayes School of Music offers bachelor’s degrees in music education, music performance, music therapy and music industries studies. It offers master’s degrees in music education and music performance. The school has approximately 50 faculty and 500 music majors. It is housed in the Broyhill Music Center.


Picture Caption: The music school at Appalachian State University has received a $10 million endowment gift from Mariam Cannon Hayes of Concord, the largest gift in the university’s history. The gift will fund equipment purchases, scholarships, faculty research and study, music ensemble travel and will elevate the school and its programs to the highest possible level of music education and service to the state, according to Chancellor Francis T. Borkowski. Bill Davis, a rising senior music performance major from Maryland, thanks Mrs. Hayes for her gift. Recognizing Mrs. Hayes’ longstanding support of education and the arts at Appalachian, the Board of Trustees has named the school the Mariam Cannon Hayes School of Music. (Appalachian photo by University Photographer Mike Rominger)