Music department honors financial donor


Brad Stout | The Chart

From left to right: John Tiede, interim vice president of development, Robert Corley, financial donor, Alan Marble, University president, and Brian Fronzaglia, music department chair, gather in the newly dedicated Robert Corley Music Room Feb. 12 in Phinney Hall. The music room was named after Corley after he donated $40,000 to the music department to pay for new band uniforms.

Brad Stout/ Editor-in-Chief

$40,000 donation pays for new band uniforms

Robert Corley, a longtime financial supporter of Missouri Southern, was once again honored by the University Feb. 12 when the music department dedicated a music room to his generosity. The Robert Corley Music Room, located in the Performing Arts Building, was named after Corley after he donated $40,000 to the University for sole purpose of purchasing new uniforms for Missouri Southern’s marching band.

According to Brian Fronzaglia, music department chair, the previous uniforms used by the marching band were purchased more than 20 years ago and were beginning to show their age.

“Through the last few years we’ve experienced some tremendous positive growth within our department, and it was becoming very evident that we were going to need to outfit our marching band with some new uniforms,” said Fronzaglia. “Through the assistance of Mr. Tiede, Mr. Corley very quickly stepped up and said ‘I would like to be the champion of this project for you.’”

With Corley’s donation, the music department was able to redesign and purchase 150 band uniforms, which will not only reinvigorate pride in the marching band, but also allow room for growth in the program.

“Last year, we really marched without uniforms, frankly, and our students deserve better,” said Alan Marble, University president. “Bob Corley thought so, too.”

The new band uniforms which were made possible by Corley’s donation were also unveiled during the dedication ceremony.

“I think the uniforms look great,” said Corely. “I hope [the band] gets to 150 and get to go to the Rose Parade.”

Corley grew up in Columbus, Kan. and graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in business administration. After moving to the Joplin area in 1951, he opened up a string of businesses starting with the Duds Shop and later the Attic and Accents on S. Main Street.

Through the years, he has provided financial support for the University on numerous occasions, benefiting such programs as KXMS, the International Piano Competition and the International Mission. Corley also pledged a significant gift in 2008 that will fund various university scholarships in perpetuity.

“Through the years, [Corley] has done a number of things for this university and this [donation to the music department] is just the latest in a string of great things he’s done,” said Marble. “This is just another example of what Bob Corley has done, not only for our university, but for the community as a whole.”

In addition to the music room, Webster Hall’s Corley Auditorium and the W. Robert Corley Dental Hygiene Clinic were dedicated in his honor.