An Augustana College music professor and two coaches in women's sports have been named to endowed positions through a $4 million gift to the school.|
Jon Hurty is the Gassman Family Professor; and Kristina Kistler and Scott Mejia are Gassman Family Coaches in Women's Athletics, according to a news release from Augustana.
The titles are given out as part of a $4 million program set up by the estates of Marvin and Marian Gassman, Augustana alumni who graduated in the 1930s. Mr. Gassman was a musician and choral singer during his time at Augustana, and Mrs. Gassman was a basketball player.
"Mr. and Mrs. Gassman set up these endowed funds through their estates to provide permanent support for a faculty chair in the college's department of music and for the support of women's athletics, which the college has elected to use to support two coaches in the women's athletics program," said Lynn Jackson, Augustana's vice president of advancement.
Mr. Gassman died some years ago, and Mrs. Gassman died this year, activating the estate donation, Ms. Jackson said. The recipients are selected by the college president.
Dr. Hurty, at Augustana since 1996, is co-chair of the music department.
He teaches conducting and directs Augustana's choral activities, including Augustana Choir and the Augustana Chamber Singers.
Dr. Hurty also is the director of Davenport's St. Paul Lutheran Church's adult choir and is involved with Quad City Choral Arts as the conductor and artistic director, according to the college. He also is the conductor of the Handel Oratorio Society at Augustana.
Ms. Kistler is the 13-year veteran head softball coach for Augustana, the college states. Under her leadership, Augustana's softball team has had 13 straight non-losing seasons. During that time, the softball team has also gone three times to theCollege Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin tournament championship, and four times her teams have qualified for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III national tournament.
Mr. Mejia has helped Augustana's male and female soccer teams earn substantial records, including 49-21-7 record for the women's team with CCIW, the college states. He has been with the college for 12 years.
The Gassmans have made other gifts to the college over the years, Ms. Jackson said. They include a $25,000 scholarship set up in 2003 for Iowa students, and $50,000 in donations for capital improvements in 2010 which led to the college's Women & Gender Studies Suite being named after them.