Largest Gift in WCU's History Endows Wells School of Music

To say that brothers James R. Wells '54 and Richard G. Wells '58 have a passion for music and a sincere interest in ensuring the success of students at West Chester University is an understatement. Both graduated from WCU with Bachelor degrees in Music Education, James in 1954 and Richard in 1958. James eventually became a tenured professor and the Director of the Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band.

Following a gracious $3,000,000 gift, the largest in the history of the University, the brothers joined the University community on Thursday, September 27 to celebrate the naming of the School—now known officially as the Wells School of Music. The resulting endowment will fund scholarships, graduate assistantship programs, travel for music ensembles, state-of-the-art marching band equipment and music education programming.

The new sign was unveiled during a performance of the University's Wind Ensemble & Wind Symphony, a fitting tribute to both Dr. and Mr. Wells who in 1982 established Festivals of Music, a school band clinic/conference and started World Travel, Inc. the following year to facilitate travel to these national and international festivals. Their spouses, Joanne M. (Noble) Wells '55 and Elizabeth J. (Noble) Wells '60, who also happen to be sisters and WCU alumnae, joined them in attendance.

James has given to the WCU Foundation for more than two decades and is a member of the Old Main Society of the Heritage Club. He also serves on the School of Music Advisory Council and in 2013 received the President's Award. Richard has supported the University for more than three decades, 23 years consecutively. Both brothers have consistently supported the James Wells Marching Band Endowment, established by James in 1996 to support top marching band students; the School of Music Benefit Fund; and the Purple & Gold Fund.

Pictured above are John Villella, Vice President of University Affairs; Elizabeth J. (Noble) Wells '60; Richard G. Wells '58; President Chris Fiorentino; James R. Wells '54; and Chris Hanning, Dean of the Wells School of Music.
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