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Ensuring a future for music at WVU

Craig and Suzanne Caesar

The West Virginia University School of Music gave Suzanne Screen Caesar some of her most treasured educational and life experiences. She is thanking the school, and ensuring future music students the same experience, through an estate gift.

Caesar started her journey at WVU with summer music camps while in high school.

“WVU Band Camp was the highlight of my musical development during my high school years," said Caesar, a Washington, D.C. native. "What an opportunity to spend three weeks each summer performing with and receiving college level instruction from the professors in the music school. It enabled high school students to experience a taste of college life. I fell in love with the State of West Virginia and the music school during those summers. I also had the opportunity to be a counselor at the camp."

It was during band camp prior to her senior year in high school that the WVU faculty offered her a full scholarship to attend the university. She stayed for two years, but ended up transferring to follow her bassoon professor to a college in Florida.  

"Looking back, I wish I had made the decision to stay at WVU and finish my music degree in Morgantown," Caesar said. "My heart will always be in Morgantown."

Caesar and her husband, Craig, now live in New Orleans, where she freelances as a bassoonist and he practices law. The couple decided their estate would be best put to use at WVU’s School of Music.

“The full tuition scholarship from WVU made it possible for my family to purchase a bassoon to advance my education," Caesar said. "College tuition and expenses have increased dramatically since I was in college.  It is important to me to be able to help young music students have the same opportunity I was given, and to help the university grow."

"The arts are an integral part of the culture of West Virginia. Craig and I are excited to be able to give back to the state with this gift and to play a part in the School of Music's continued success."