School of Music receives $1 million gift from FitzPatrick family for new Music Building
Sisters Shannon FitzPatrick, of San Marcos, and Kathleen FitzPatrick, of Georgetown, have donated the first $1 million to Texas State University to fund the construction of a new School of Music building on the San Marcos Campus.
The FitzPatrick family's gift moves the university toward a major goal of the $250 million NEXT IS NOW capital campaign: to build a new music building that reflects the national reputation of Texas State's students and faculty.
“The FitzPatrick family has generously supported Texas State through the decades with not only monetary gifts, but through their service and talents.” said Dr. Denise Trauth, president of Texas State University. “It was their family’s deep ties to Texas State that inspired Kathleen and Shannon to establish this $1 million quasi-endowment that will create the momentum needed to bring our new music building to life. The FitzPatricks have set us on a trajectory that will elevate the student experience in our School of Music to new heights. We are incredibly grateful and moved by their support.”
Originally intended for 200 music students, the current music building started out as a gymnasium that was converted in 1983. Since then, the School of Music has grown dramatically, with 30 music ensembles, the 350-member Bobcat Marching Band, symphony orchestra, six choral ensembles, opera, four jazz bands, a rock ensemble, two salsa bands, two mariachi groups, and 12 smaller instrumental ensembles. As one of the top music programs in the country, students are accepted through competitive auditions. Faculty members have won 10 Grammy awards and received 14 Grammy nominations to date.
When completed, the new music building will serve almost 600 music majors and 80-plus faculty who are now spread across five buildings. The proposed facility will contain nearly 110,000 square feet of space for classrooms, studios, faculty offices, rehearsal and practice rooms, music research and innovation labs, and a student lounge.
The FitzPatrick family has a long-standing relationship with Texas State spanning three generations. Shannon and Kathleen's mother, Merry Kone FitzPatrick, graduated from Texas State—then Southwest Texas State Teachers College—in 1942. Merry taught for four decades in the university’s Department of History as an associate professor, being recognized and awarded as one of Texas State’s finest teachers. Both Shannon and Kathleen followed in their mother's footsteps and attended Texas State. Shannon worked at Texas State for two decades as the university’s Attorney for Students and the coordinator for the Leadership Institute. She co-chaired the 2017-2018 Common Experience theme on justice, retiring from the university in 2019. Shannon’s son, Lewis, is currently a senior majoring in criminal justice and set to graduate in May.
In 1983, Merry and her brother, Robert Kone, established the endowed Lewis Woods Kone Jr. Choral Scholarship to honor their late brother, a Texas State alumnus and a music educator, who was a founding member of the Texas State Gamma Phi chapter of a national fraternity for music students. In 1997, the family established the Merry Kone FitzPatrick Endowed Scholarship and Shannon recently established a permanent endowment to fund the Lewis Woods Kone Junior Music Scholarship.