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Collin County Community College District Music Department Presented $100,000 Endowed Scholarship Gift

Collin County Community College District Music Department Presented $100,000 Endowed Scholarship Gift

MAY 10, 2001 -- The establishment of a $100,000 endowed scholarship fund for music students at the Collin County Community College District (CCCCD) was announced during CCCCD's Choral and Chamber Singers' "The Lighter Side of Choral Music!" concert Friday, May 4. The gift, a legacy that honors the late Bette Emerson, was facilitated by Diane and Richard Dill, longtime friends of Bette and Tom Emerson who lived in McKinney. Mr. and Mrs. Dill are the owners of McKinney-based Dill Investments.

"We deeply appreciate receiving the Bette Emerson Endowed Scholarship Fund. This gift is the largest donation our music department has ever received. And it will help open the doors to music careers for CCCCD students for many years to come," said Michael Crawford, dean of CCCCD Fine Arts.

This marks the second of two $100,000 Emerson Endowed Scholarships. Last month, the Tom Emerson Scholarship Endowment was established to furnish scholarships for CCCCD students majoring in business, marketing, entrepreneurship, economics or technology. This second endowed fund is in memory of Bette Emerson, who pursued a music career prior to her marriage.

Born in upstate New York, Mrs. Emerson studied voice and piano at the Ithaca Conservatory of Music and Syracuse University. She later moved to New York City where she sang in radio-broadcasted concerts and Robert Malone's Choral Group. A soprano, Mrs. Emerson performed at Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall and the 1939 New York World's Fair. She was also a member of the Mascagni Opera Company and sang in "Madame Butterfly," "Il Trovator" and Don Giovanni." During World War II, Mrs. Emerson performed at the USO and Stage Door Canteen. She was also active with the American Women's Voluntary Services, selling war bonds. The Emersons retired to Mr. Emerson's hometown of McKinney in the 1950s. Both were strong promoters of Collin County, and Mrs. Emerson was highly regarded for hosting many community events. It was her wish to have part of her estate benefit college music students.

"Making a world-class education available to all is a commitment of Collin County Community College District. Endowed scholarships, such as the Bette Emerson Fund assures that anyone aspiring a quality higher education has the means to attain their goals. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and students of Collin County Community College District, I want to thank the Dills for this generous gift," said Cary A. Israel, CCCCD president."

The CCCCD music department is nationally recognized. Most recently, three of CCCCD's jazz groups -- Expressions, the Jazz Lab Band and Jaztet One -- received outstanding ratings at the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Festival. In addition, several CCCstudents received awards from the International Association of Jazz Educators for their outstanding performances last month.

For more information about CCCCD scholarships, please call the CCCCD Foundation Inc. office at 972-881-5611.

Collin College serves more than 46,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.