Delaware music school receives surprise $10M bequest for scholarships

Posted on: January 13, 2022

“Mary Ellen Northrop was a Wilmington music lover known to the Music School of Delaware, but not in particular as an active patron or supporter. The retired tax analyst is believed to have studied clarinet there at some point,” writes Peter Dobrin in Tuesday’s (1/11) Philadelphia Inquirer. “Several years ago Northrop began inquiring about giving a gift…. Northrop, who died in June at age 78, left the school a bequest of $10 million for endowment…. ‘It’s an order of magnitude larger than any gift we’ve previously received,’ said Lawrence Hamermesh, a board member and past chair of the community music school…. Northrop’s gift … will enable the school to increase its scholarship money eightfold to underwrite about 80 students each year. Northrop [stipulated] that students receive aid only for two years. And so, with many students attending for six to eight years of training, the school is viewing Northrop’s gift as a call for the rest of the philanthropic community to step up with additional funding…. The gift … is limited to children, between preschool and 12th grade, whose families have a net annual income of $150,000 or less.”