Largest Gift Positions Music School for Growth


5Staff Report

In a press conference on Wednesday, July 29 at The Music School of Delaware’s Milford Branch, David C. McBride, Board Chair, announced that board member, key donor, and longtime adult student of the Music School, Dr. William J. Stegeman, made a magnanimous and unprecedented donation to the School of $750,000.

Dr. Stegeman’s donation completes the funding of Phase I and allows Music School leaders to plan and move forward with the second phase of their Capital Campaign. In Phase II, funds will be raised for several capital projects, including the renovation of the concert hall in Wilmington and upgrading the School’s roof, heating and ventilation systems. The support of Dr. Stegeman ensures The Music School of Delaware can also plan and prepare to reach their “Goals and Priorities for a Century of Success.” The Board initiated a strategic planning process earlier this spring in preparation for the school’s 100th anniversary year in 2025.

Board Chair David C. McBride, Esq. commented on the gift’s significance. “In addition to finishing Phase I of our capital campaign, Dr. Stegeman’s contribution demonstrates an exceptionally strong vote of confidence in the school. From our ability to prosper through the recession, to our excellent music faculty and programming, and community outreach, The Music School of Delaware is well-poised for continued success.”

Dr. William Stegeman is CEO and Senior Scientist of Jackson ImmunoResearch Laboratories, Inc., the company that he founded in 1982 with partner Ralph C. Hood, Jr. and two investors. He is a graduate of the University of Maine, University of Massachusetts, Rutgers University, and he was an NIH postdoctoral research fellow at Temple Medical School. Located in West Grove, PA, his company specializes in the production and conjugation of affinity-purified secondary antibodies and purified immunoglobulins. Dr. Stegeman has served on the Board of the Music School since 2010 and has been a student in violin and viola since 2001.

In speaking of his intent, Bill said, “With this gift, I want to endorse and support the visionary and positive direction the school is taking and express our appreciation for the excellence of its faculty, student accomplishment, and leadership. I hope many, many others will give what they can, as well.”

The school’s chief executive since 1999, Kate M. Ransom noted that Dr. Stegeman’s gift is a remarkable demonstration of their passion and generosity for the future of the arts in the region, as well as a testament to the strength of the school’s Board of Directors, and leadership donor base. “I extend profound gratitude to Bill. Major gifts such as this are transformative and allow the community to have access to excellence in the arts for all. Bill has consistently shown unprecedented commitment to the future of the arts in Delaware, and great passion for the school and our educational programs.”

Founded in 1924, The Music School of Delaware reaches thousands of people from Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland through its instructional programs and over 100 public performances each year. The Music School is the only nationally accredited program of its kind in Delaware and is the only statewide accredited community music school in the nation. The Music School offers standard-setting instructional programs for all ages and has a faculty of nearly 100 expert artists and educators with branch locations in Wilmington and Milford and over 20 satellite and outreach sites statewide. For more information, please call the Wilmington Branch at (302) 762-1132.