Bidewell Continues Support for Music with Major New Gift
JONESBORO – A passion for music and appreciation for his alma mater has led Bob Bidewell of Little Rock to make another major gift to Arkansas State University.
Bidewell recently donated stock valued at more than $100,000 to the ASU Foundation Inc. At his request, proceeds from the sale of the stock will be directed to the Department of Music to help meet the department’s most pressing needs, at the discretion of the chair and the dean.
Despite the recent impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Bidewell expressed to university representatives that committing this support is very important to him and he did not want to wait any longer to make the gift, his most recent to the academic area in which he completed two degrees.
"The education I received from the Department of Music at Arkansas State University gave me the skills to be a teacher and performer. What I gained from my time at A-State is still in my heart, mind and soul," Bidewell explained. "I'm thrilled by the quality of the programs within the department, and I am honored to present this gift to be used as needed to help that growth and quality continue."
Dr. Lauren Schack Clark, interim department chair, said it is difficult to fully express just how much the music students and faculty appreciate Bidewell's generosity.
"I have only known Bob for only a short time, but those who have known him longer say he’s a wonderful person and a gifted musician. The gift is especially appreciated because he is allowing us to determine our greatest needs," Clark continued. "This could not have come at a more convenient time. Music study presents special challenges with social distancing, so our first priority is obtaining the best possible technology and equipment to help us with safety during these unprecedented times."
Dr. Carl Cates is dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Communication, of which the Department of Music is a part.
"Bob Bidewell continues to be a great friend to the arts and especially to the Department of Music at A‑State," Cates commented. "His generous gifts have improved campus facilities and educational opportunities for years. I thank him for his exemplary record."
Bidewell completed two degrees at Arkansas State – a bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education in 1976, and a master’s degree in music education in 1977.
As a resident of central Arkansas, he continues to stay highly involved in music. He plays clarinet with the Little Rock Winds, performs in theater productions with Argenta Community Theater, and serves as a piano accompanist for many choral programs in Central Arkansas schools.
A longtime benefactor of the Department of Music, Bidewell's previous gifts include a $25,000 gift in 2011 and a $15,000 gift for the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall renovation in 2017.
Information about giving to Arkansas State University is available through the Office of Development, which is located in the Cooper Alumni Center, (870) 972-3940.
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