Winthrop University: Music Lover Alumna Gives to Help Next Generation of Students
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Music Lover Alumna Gives to Help Next Generation of Students

September 23, 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Lou Ardrey ’54 of Rock Hill, South Carolina, valued her college education so much that she decided to help the next generation of music students by endowing a scholarship.
  • The Louise Lucas Ardrey Music Scholarship awards one scholarship annually to a South Carolina music major who has an emphasis in piano in his/her education.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – A new Winthrop University music scholarship was awarded this fall, thanks to an alumna who was grateful for the music training she learned at her alma mater.

Lou Ardrey ’54 of Rock Hill, South Carolina, valued her college education so much that she decided to help the next generation of music students by endowing a scholarship. “Majoring in music gave me a greater love for music and exposed me to exceptional musical programs,” Ardrey said. “Those experiences confirmed in me a desire to make music an important part of my life.”

The Louise Lucas Ardrey Music Scholarship awards one scholarship annually to a South Carolina music major who has an emphasis in piano in his/her education.

Ardrey knows the scholarship’s first recipient, Will Cosper ’23, from Westminster Presbyterian Church where she is a member. Cosper is a member of the Winthrop Reformed University Fellowship ministry and devotes his time to singing in the church’s choir. 

“I am very impressed with Will and his accomplishments, and I think he has a bright future,” Ardrey said.

Winthrop music faculty members were delighted with the endowed scholarship. “The legacy bestowed to Winthrop by Louise Ardrey carries on the tradition of classical piano study for years to come – a tradition that has been a part of this institution since its founding,” said Matthew Manwarren, professor and coordinator of keyboard studies.

Early Exposure to Winthrop and Music

Having grown up in Dillon, South Carolina, Ardrey first began taking piano lessons when she was in the fourth grade.

She is part of a legacy family at Winthrop. Her mother graduated from Winthrop with a home economics major in 1928, the last class to have its diplomas signed by founding President D.B. Johnson. She and her four sisters followed in their mother's footsteps to Winthrop, all majoring in education. One of them taught in high school, three taught in grammar school and Ardrey taught music in junior high.

All five sisters met their husbands where they went to teach, and four of them remained there. Ardrey was the exception. She and her husband, Jim, lived in five different states during his career in telecommunications. 

As part of the requirements for her music education degree, Ardrey took voice and piano lessons, participated in voice and piano recitals, and sang with the Winthrop Choir. She found that the music events at Winthrop during her years were of the highest quality. 

"The best artists in America gave concerts, including Roberta Peters, Rise Stevens, Patrice Munsel, The Robert Shaw Chorale and Orchestra, and The Agnes Demille Dance Group," she recalled. "We also saw operas like Carmen and La Traviata and heard big bands like Sammy Kaye and Wayne King.”

Miss Lou is a Blessing

Throughout her life, Ardrey has continued to enjoy listening to music, singing in church choirs, playing the piano for various events, and attending musical performances in the cities where her family lived, as well as in New York, Atlanta and in Europe.

Most recently, she has enjoyed inviting friends to her apartment for concerts performed by Winthrop music faculty member Kristen Wunderlich and others.

Wunderlich, an associate professor of voice, said: "Miss Lou has been a sweet gift and blessing to me. I think the thing that most touches me about her scholarship is that the recipients of this award will not only benefit from financial support, but they will have a friend, fan and encourager in Miss Lou. That is what she has been to me!"

With the benefit of today’s technology, this senior citizen even likes to sit at her computer and watch top-notch musical performances, enjoying them at no cost. Music has, and always will, be a part of her life.

To learn more about giving at Winthrop, contact University Advancement at 803/323-2275 or giving@winthrop.edu to speak with a development representative.

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Last Updated: 7/13/22