TTU announces $40,000 gift for Wayne Pegram Endowment

Posted by Lori Shull - Thursday, July 28 2011

thumb_Wayne_Pegram_2Tennessee Tech University has received a gift of approximately $40,000 to support scholarships for music students in honor of Wayne Pegram, emeritus professor of music and TTU alumnus.

After Pegram passed away on Jan. 1, TTU’s Office of University Development received a gift of more than $37,000 from an anonymous donor. Other gifts from alumni and friends brought the endowment to about $40,000.

Pegram graduated from the TTU music department in 1959 and joined the faculty, teaching at his alma mater for 35 years. He played the saxophone and flute and had more than 60 of his works as an arranger and composer published.

“Wayne was an early leader in the school band movement and in music education across the state of Tennessee,” said Arthur LaBar, chairperson of TTU’s music and art department. “He was known to high school band students and their teachers everywhere in Tennessee. Many of those students chose to enroll at TTU because Dr. Pegram took a personal interest in them.”

Founder of the Cookeville Community Band and the Big Band Sound, Pegram continued directing both organizations until his death.

As director of bands at TTU, his marching, jazz and concert bands were invited to perform across the region and nation. Under his leadership, the symphonic band and wind ensemble were asked to record more than 30 albums.

“One of the first things that I learned about him was how many people across the state knew Wayne Pegram,” LaBar said. “They admired him as a leader in band music and in music education. And they respected him for his phenomenal recruiting abilities.”

Following his tradition, the endowment will be used to attract new students to TTU at the donor’s request. After the endowment has accumulated earnings for one year, it is expected to support scholarships for music students in perpetuity.

To learn more about giving to the TTU music and art department, call development director Jim Brock at 931/372-3055 or visit