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Ross Endowment Reflects Family's Enduring A-State Bonds


JONESBORO – The family of the late Dr. Dan Ross, long-time A-State music faculty member, has established and fully funded an endowed memorial scholarship for music students.

The family committed more than $25,000 to the Dan Ross Memorial Scholarship, and they have been joined by his former students, colleagues and friends to further build the endowment.

This video, shot in October 2017, features Dr. Dan Ross, professor of music at A-State. Ross served on the faculty for over 50 years and developed a stellar reputation among oboe and bassoon players nationally and internationally.

"Beginning in 1937, the Dan Ross family has both given to and benefitted from its connections to A-State and the Music Department," recalled his wife, Dr. Ann Ross.  "Establishing the Dan Ross Memorial Scholarship is a way for our family and friends to remember Dan’s legacy and to help fund tuition for a future musical performer or educator at Arkansas State University who will carry on his tradition."

Undergraduate music majors who have completed at least 30 credit hours with a minimum 3.0 GPA will be eligible to apply each year.  Recipients may reapply. 

The scholarship committee in the College of Liberal Arts and Communication, of which the Department of Music is part, will select the recipient with input from the department chair.

“This gift continues the legacy of Dan Ross’ attention to the best interests of our students and community," stated Dr. Carl Cates, dean of the college.  "I can think of few other honors with greater impact. We are grateful for the family and donors who are making this named scholarship a reality.”

Ann Ross has many pleasant memories of her husband's devotion to his students.

"He gave many free lessons to oboe students in area schools.  His office was always stocked with food and drinks, and he offered free advice for any student who needed it," she continued.  "He had a passion for music and for teaching and felt that the students should come first."

One of his favorite expressions was, “Do what you love, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” 

“Dan Ross was a unique individual, and one of the most generous people I’ve ever known.  We appreciate his giving attitude, and that of his family, who have helped to make this scholarship possible," added Dr. Lauren Schack Clark.  "This scholarship is indicative of his mantra, putting students first, and it’s heartwarming to know, in this way, Dr. Ross and his family will continue to help many deserving students for years to come.”

Not only did Ross enjoy one of the longest professional associations with A-State in its history, having taught music for nearly 50 years, he was part of a family rich with connections to the institution.

His father, Edward Grady Ross, was a 1937 graduate of then-Arkansas State College, which Dan Ross entered in 1962 to major in music.  He joined the band and soon met Ann Galloway, daughter of history professor Dr. John Galloway. 

Ross presented his future wife with her engagement ring, wrapped around her piccolo, during band practice.  Eventually the couple found themselves making their careers as faculty members at A-State.

Dan retired from the Department of Music in 2018, while Ann, otherwise known as “Mrs. Doctor Ross,” retired in 2014 after teaching in the Department of Chemistry and then the Department of Teacher Education.

The Ross family bonds with A-State extended even further, with Dan's three siblings attending A-State.

His brother, Edward Grady Ross Jr., also was a music education major and a trumpet player.  After completing his master's degree, he was a school band director in Missouri and Arkansas before moving into administration.  His sister, Cindy Ross Buehling, was a piano major, took oboe lessons from her brother, and earned a master's degree in music.  She retired from a career as an elementary music teacher in the Little Rock Public Schools. Another brother, Bill, attended A-State and now is in business near Atlanta.

Ross' sons followed in their father's musical footsteps, with Brian earning a music education degree as a trombone major, but became a computer programmer.  He met his wife Renee when they were in band. Philip graduated from the Eastman School of Music as an oboe performance major and serves as associate principal oboe with the St. Louis Symphony. He met his wife Laura when she came to A-State to study with her future father-in-law while pursuing a master's in oboe performance.

"Dan was generous with both his time and money, whether it was providing a meal for a hungry student, helping a student with tuition, or paying for someone’s car repairs, or doing it himself," Ann Ross also remembered.  "He helped to fund the orchestra and opera programs at A-State, conducted free oboe camps in the summer, and brought string ensembles from Poland and Russia to A-State and the community."

Former students, along with friends and colleagues, are invited to carry on his giving spirit by adding to the endowment fund through the website, AState.edu/DanRoss.

Additional information about giving opportunities at A-State is available by contacting University Advancement staff in the Cooper Alumni Center, advancement@AState.edu or (870) 972-3940.

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