Story by Eric Lawson
During the Nov. 21 performance by the Lander University Wind Ensemble, retired mathematics professor Bruce White was recognized on stage for his long time support of music students at the school.
White retired from Lander after teaching for 27 years with the university, including eight years as chair of the then-named Department of Mathematics and Computing. During his tenure, he established the Nat F. White Instrumental Music Scholarship in memory of his father, who was a professional musician.
“To be so warmly recognized by the music faculty, the student musicians and the members of the audience was one of the highlights of my life,” said White. “I started the Nat F. White Instrumental Music Scholarship 25 years ago with two purposes in mind: to honor the memory of my father, and to recognize and support student musicians at Lander University. Both purposes were accomplished that night.”
According to Lila Noonkester, chair of Lander’s Department of Music, the scholarship’s impact is large. “The scholarship is awarded to students in our Wind and Jazz ensembles. It’s vital to our ability to recruit music students to Lander, and complete our Wind and Jazz ensembles. Each year, it supports at least five of our music students,” she explained.
For White, supporting the fine arts is an important aspect of his life. In addition to his support of Lander’s music program, he supports an endowed scholarship in his father’s name at the Brevard Music Center, and contributes to the S. C. Public Radio and WRTI, the NPR radio affiliate at Temple University.
“To me, an appreciation of music is essential to a healthy and balanced life,” said White. “Although I taught mathematics for 30 years, my interests are music (classical and jazz), art, history and languages. I probably should have been a professor in the Humanities!”