Feb. 8, 2021Print | PDF
Donors and music lovers have contributed an incredible $770,000 in less than three months to name the Carruthers Practice Studios in honour of former Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Music dean Glen Carruthers, who passed away in December following a battle with cancer.
The success of this tribute fundraising initiative, part of Laurier’s Making Space for Music campaign, would not have been possible without the generosity of long-time Laurier supporters Robert Astley (LLD '96) and Judith Astley (BA '87), who matched every donation made to the campaign.* Laurier Chancellor Eileen Mercier also contributed a generous leadership gift.
“Building on the matching gift of Robert and Judith Astley, the generosity of our donors will impact many future generations of Laurier students,” says Anna Ferenc, acting dean of the Faculty of Music. “I know that this outpouring of support for the Making Space for Music campaign would have meant a great deal to Glen, whose passing has affected us deeply. On behalf of the Faculty of Music, I extend sincere gratitude to all of our donors.”
The Carruthers Practice Studios will consist of high-quality, light-filled practice and rehearsal rooms featuring superb acoustics and floor-to-ceiling windows in Laurier’s new Savvas Chamberlain Music Building on the university’s Waterloo campus. A total of 255 donors have contributed $770,000 to name the Carruthers Practice Studios, surpassing an original goal of $750,000. Donors include Laurier alumni, staff, faculty and students, as well as community members and Carruthers’ friends and colleagues from universities across Canada and around the world.
“The achievement of this campaign goal is a significant milestone in the Making Space for Music campaign,” says Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor Deborah MacLatchy. “Not only does it recognize the impact of a very important member of our Laurier community, Dr. Glen Carruthers, it also demonstrates the high level of commitment of our supporters toward the success of Laurier music students. I am truly grateful to our many Laurier music supporters, and to the Astley family and Chancellor Mercier for their leadership in giving.”
Carruthers passed away on Dec. 24, 2020 at the age of 66. As dean of Laurier’s Faculty of Music from 2010 to 2020, he touched thousands of lives with his visionary leadership, down-to-earth friendliness, generous teaching and mentoring, and remarkable musical talent. He was the driving force behind the Making Space for Music campaign and an inspiration to his students, colleagues and community.
The Making Space for Music campaign aims to raise $15 million to renovate and expand Laurier's Waterloo campus Faculty of Music building, transforming it into an improved space for teaching, practising, rehearsing and performing. An exceptional new campus entranceway, lobby and practice rooms will allow increased opportunities for music students to develop their craft and for the public to enjoy and participate in Faculty of Music programming. Laurier will name its new Faculty of Music building the Savvas Chamberlain Music Building, with a Savvas Chamberlain Family Foundation Lobby, in honour of a $4-million gift from the Savvas Chamberlain Family Foundation in January 2020.
*Up to $375,000 and contingent on building construction commencing by July 31, 2022. All funds donated to the Carruthers Practice Studios will go toward Laurier's ongoing Making Space for Music capital campaign to support the building in which the Carruthers Practice Studios will be situated.
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