ADA – East Central University President Emeritus Dr. Stanley P. Wagner has established a $50,000 endowment, the “Stanley P. and Diana M. Wagner University Chorale Endowment”, to help defray costs as ECU’s University Chorale is scheduled to make a trip to Washington D.C. in December.
The University Chorale, under the direction of Dr. J. Steven Walker, is the touring ensemble for the choral department at ECU and performs a wide spectrum of the finest chorale literature. The University Chorale, chosen by the Oklahoma Music Educators Association as a university-level honor group, often tours regionally and had the distinction of performing at the OMEA State Convention in January.
The group primarily consists of vocal music majors, but some singers represent other academic disciplines.
Wagner’s donation is made in tribute to his late wife, Diana.
“I am pleased to be able to help the University Chorale with its travels. Diana was involved in choral music for many years, including singing in our church choir in Ada and she and I enjoyed all the traveling we did,” said Wagner. “The students in the University Chorale will benefit from visiting distant locations while representing and bringing attention to the university.”
Wagner served as ECU president from 1969-88.
Walker, who has been University Chorale director since 1985, is the Director of Choral Activities and Adolph Linscheid Distinguished Teaching Professor at ECU and has served on ECU’s music faculty since 1983.
“Dr. and Mrs. Stanley Wagner were ardent supporters of the arts during his tenure as president of East Central University,” Walker said. “Stanley and Diana rarely missed a musical, theatrical or artistic event produced by ECU. They always voiced their appreciation to students as well as the faculty involved. They supported events sponsored by community groups such as ACT II and the Ada Arts Council. The University Chorale and I greatly appreciate and are most humbled by Dr. Wagner’s generous gift.”
ECU President John Hargrave praised Wagner for his continual support to the university.
“President Wagner has been and continues to be a great friend of East Central University. His love of ECU has been evident for decades,” said Hargrave. “We appreciate his generous gift and I know his wife, Diana, would be pleased because of her love of music. This will greatly benefit our choral group as they serve as ambassadors for the university in Washington D.C. later this year.”
Two members of the University Chorale - Caleb Bonar, a junior business marketing major from Ada, and Keeli Fisher, a junior nursing major from Davis - are pleased with Wagner’s generous donation and excited about their upcoming performances in the nation’s capital.
“We are thrilled to be able to represent ECU in such a unique way, and we would not be able to do so without the generous support of people like Dr. Wagner,” said Bonar. “He has been an integral advocate of the University Chorale since its inception, and this endowment is only a glimpse of the character of such a gracious and giving president, even after his retirement.”
“We are beyond blessed to have received such a generous donation for our choral department. It is because of people like Dr. Wagner that we are able to exceed our own expectations,” Fisher said. “I want to express my sincere thanks to Dr. Wagner for helping us open doors we never thought were possible.”