Irving S. Gilmore School of Music, Western Michigan University

A legacy of generosity leads to naming the WMU School of Music

Celebrating the extraordinary generosity of former philanthropist and arts patron Irving S. Gilmore, Western Michigan University is naming its school dedicated to educating its outstanding musicians the Irving S. Gilmore School of Music.

Daniel G. Guyette, dean of the College of Fine Arts, made the announcement to the campus community during its 50th anniversary celebration on October 14, stating the new name will begin being used officially in January.

A former business leader and concert quality pianist, Gilmore died in 1986, leaving a legacy of charitable giving through the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation.

On campus, the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation has been enormously generous, granting more than $30 million to Western since the mid-1980s. In the College of Fine Arts, past grants from the foundation total more than $17 million.

“In light of this legacy of philanthropy and Mr. Gilmore’s devotion to music and the arts, recent conversations with members of the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation trustees have brought about an extraordinary opportunity,” Guyette said at the celebration. “We thank Irving S. Gilmore and the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation for their profound leadership and generosity, which supports and enriches the cultural, social and economic life of greater Kalamazoo.”


Western has offered music instruction since 1904. The first music majors and minors were offered in 1942, and the department became a school in 1980. Today, it offers a broad range of programs including 11 undergraduate degree, eight graduate degree and two certificate programs to nearly 440 registered students that prepare them for careers and further study in performance, research, music education, music therapy, composition and multimedia arts technology.

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