Gift endows cello and music advocacy fellowship at UW-Stevens Point

Metro Wire Staff

A $500,000 gift from a private charitable organization will help fund a faculty position in cello and music education advocacy at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The gift is from a charitable organization founded by notable Stevens Point businessman Edmund Bukolt.

President of the former Lullabye Furniture Company, Bukolt collected valuable instruments with impressive pedigrees that were used for many years by UW-Stevens Point string faculty members who also performed as part of the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra. Bukolt played violin with several symphony orchestras. He died in 1964.

“We are honored to help ensure that Edmund Bukolt’s contributions to the arts in Central Wisconsin will further extend to support music education in such a lasting way,” Chancellor Thomas Gibson said.

The gift endows a fund that will augment an existing part-time teaching position in the Department of Music and create the full-time Edmund Bukolt Faculty Fellowship in Cello/Music Education Advocacy. A search for this faculty member begins soon.

“This is a transformative gift for the Department of Music, for our students, and for our community. We see the position as fundamental in the overall structure of the department and our role of training musicians and teachers,” said Brent Turney, department chair. “This gift and subsequent position will sustain the comprehensive quality of our offerings for generations to come. We are indebted to our community in Central Wisconsin and are so happy to strengthen support for music for everyone.”

The U-Stevens Point Music Department has long been recognized for its academic strength and extensive community engagement through performances and educational opportunities, holding national accreditation with the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1968. Music education students are among the most highly sought after in the state, with 100 percent placement in K-12 positions throughout the state and region. Faculty members and students serve as the core of community choral, chamber, jazz, and orchestral ensembles in Central Wisconsin with popular outreach programs such as Camp COFAC, Aber Suzuki Center, American Suzuki Institute, and Very Young Composers program.

“This is a tremendous step toward our long-term goal to bring this fund to $1 million and create an endowed professorship in cello and music education advocacy,” said Valerie Cisler, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication. “We are very grateful to the Bukolt family for their generous support over several decades. Their legacy lives on, enhancing our ability to provide a superb music experience for both our students and the greater community.”

The estate of Edmund Bukolt and his wife, Kathryn, previously created two scholarship endowments in UW-Stevens Point’s College of Fine Arts and Communication: one in music and the second in dance.