DALLAS (SMU) — A gift of $1 million from Jeanne Roach Johnson of Dallas will support the piano program in the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU. The gift provides $500,000 to renovate the music practice room area of the Meadows School and $500,000 to establish the Jeanne Johnson Piano Guest Artists Endowment Fund, which will bring outstanding guest artists in piano to perform and teach on a visiting basis in the school’s Division of Music.
“Jeanne Johnson’s vision and generosity will bring added distinction to the Meadows School and its Division of Music,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are grateful to her for further advancing the piano program nationally and internationally.”
This is Johnson’s second million-dollar gift for the Meadows School’s piano program, considered one of the nation’s top piano performance programs. Last spring she provided $1 million to purchase and maintain new concert-quality pianos for practice and performance and to establish a special initiatives fund that allows the Division of Music to invest in priorities for the piano program. In appreciation of that gift, the annual Jeanne Roach Johnson Piano Recital was established to showcase outstanding students and alumni of the SMU piano program.
“Jeanne Johnson’s exceptional support of the Meadows School’s Division of Music will enable us to maintain the excellent reputation of our piano performance program for years to come,” said Meadows Dean Carole Brandt. “The array of visiting guest musicians who will perform and teach will represent an additional opportunity for our talented piano students to learn from artists worldwide. And, the new practice rooms will greatly enhance the experience of the students who spend countless hours in them honing their skills.”
Jeanne Roach Johnson, a private investor in Dallas, received her B.B.A. degree in 1954 from what is now SMU’s Cox School of Business. She currently serves on the Executive Board of Meadows School of the Arts and is a member of SMU’s Dallas Hall Society. She served on the Texas Committee of The Campaign for SMU. In addition to her support of the Meadows School, she established the Johnson Women in Business Scholarship in the Cox School for women students with proven leadership skills, strong academic records, and dedication to success in business.
The study of music has been offered by SMU from the University’s opening in 1915. A School of Music was established in 1917. The visual, performing, and communication arts were brought together in 1964 in a comprehensive School of the Arts, which was named in honor of benefactor Algur H. Meadows in 1969. The Meadows School of the Arts now comprises 10 academic divisions: the Temerlin Advertising Institute, Art, Art History, Arts Administration, Cinema-Television, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Dance, Journalism, Music, and Theatre.