In recognition of East Tennessee State University now offering the first four year Bachelor’s degree in bluegrass music, the Appalachian Cultural Music Association (ACMA) has announced the launch of a new scholarship for ETSU students in the name of the late Leon Kiser. Kiser was a prominent musician and businessman in east Tennessee who earned a reputation for encouraging young people to study bluegrass and old time music.
At a press conference yesterday (2/18) in Bristol, VA the ACMA presented an initial check for $1,000 to Jim Hunter, chairman of the Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Program’s advisory board at ETSU, as a “down payment” on the endowment they have established to fund this scholarship. Hunter was thankful, to say the least.
“We are very appreciative to the ACMA and their continued support of our music program at ETSU. This scholarship is very important and will help our students tremendously.”
ACMA President Tim White tells us that they are committed to having the endowment funded by at least $10,000 by the end of 2010, and will make initial scholarship offers from the interest earned starting in 2011.
Our goal is to grow this ACMA’s Leon Kiser Scholarship to give a student a ‘full ride’ scholarship one day.”
White said that donations to help fund the scholarship are most welcome. Anyone wishing to support this effort can get the necessary details by contacting:
Karen LeBlanc Sullivan, director of University Advancement
East Tennessee State University
P.O. Box 70721
Johnson City, TN 37614
Hats off to ETSU for their support of traditional string music, and to ACMA for working to send deserving students there to study.