First USAO Rapp Scholarship Awarded to Curtis

In a historical first, the Rapp Foundation of Oklahoma City recently created a $25,000 endowment for music scholarships at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

The first scholarship generated from the gift has been awarded to music junior Gina Curtis of Chickasha.

Curtis is a vocal music education major at USAO. A non-traditional student with three children, Curtis came to USAO in 2004 to complete a bachelor of arts degree in music. By becoming an elementary school teacher, she hopes to introduce music into the lives of young children.

Dr. Stephen Weber, associate professor of music, said Curtis makes an obvious candidate to receive a scholarship.

“Gina is one of our most musically talented students,” Weber said. “She was a clear choice to receive the award and is certainly deserving of this honor.”

Curtis is president of the University Musician’s Club. She has performed in Opera Scenes and musical theatre productions and is a member of the Concert Choir. In addition to her vocal talents, Curtis is an accomplished pianist and frequently performs vocal and piano music at Epworth Methodist Church in Chickasha.

USAO grant writer Julie Bohannon and Director of Development Alan Proctor approached the Rapp Foundation in the fall of 2005 about both the university’s success and reputation and its need for scholarship funding for music students. In November, the Rapp Foundation expressed its interest in providing scholarship funding for students with financial needs. Rapp’s initial endowment of $25,000 will be used for returning upper-classmen in music.

Weber said that gifts like the Rapp Foundation endowment are imperative for both students and the university.

“Gifts like this make a tremendous impact on our music program and students,” said Weber.

“This gift from the Rapp Foundation will bring interest every year, allowing us to award scholarships to exceptional students in need of additional financial support. We will reap the benefits of gifts like this for many years to come.”

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