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The endowment of the Sid & Mary Foulger School of Music was commemorated Friday, Sept. 14, in the Austad Auditorium at the Weber State University Browning Center.
Sid Foulger attended college in Washington on a football scholarship, but soon found he was majoring in his athletics and not his schooling. Feeling he could not continue playing at the expense of education, he moved back home to Ogden with only $5 to his name and met with the president of what was then Weber College. He pleaded for a way to come to school, explaining his situation, and he was allowed to enter classes late under the provision that he would prove academically fruitful. He was no disappointment, and quickly rose in academic prestige. He graduated and was hired by the Marriott Hospitality company, where he became well established. Throughout his life, he has had a passion for music’s ability to uplift, inspire and move people to change.
“He has quite the story,” said Thomas Priest, WSU director of music education. “Personally, I’ve been deeply moved by Sid Foulger’s story. His journey from a high-school football player that came to Weber State to get an education and develop himself into a successful engineer, architect and businessman is a testimony of how individuals may do amazing things with their education. By establishing the Foulger School of Music at Weber State, he demonstrated his incredible passion for music and Weber State University.”
Eliza Taylor, Jared Jaccard and Fan-Ya Lin are all pianists, and were featured performers at the concert. They each expressed gratitude for the endowment and its potential for helping WSU.
“It means a lot to know that other people have seen WSU’s music program and want to help it improve and succeed,” said Taylor, a sophomore in the program. “We are becoming more than just an ordinary music program when other people notice us and want to help us out. With the donation that was made, we will be able to use resources that maybe weren’t available before to help out the current students, as well as future students, obtain the highest musical education possible.”
Jaccard said he feels this will impact students the most through expanding the School of Music.
“It’s huge,” Jaccard said. “I don’t comprehend everything that this will end up meaning, but it will affect this generation of students and generations to come. I’m not sure what will happen immediately, but I think it will help expand the faculty and scholarships.”
Lin, one of the nation’s most prestigious pianists, was with Foulger at the time of his decision to donate.
“There was a piano conference going on, and (we) got information that there was a potential donor for the music department,” Lin said. “We sidetracked from our conference and went to Washington D.C. to visit Mr. Foulger. He took us to see the temple that he built in Washington D.C., and we had the opportunity to play the piano at the visitors center. We talked about our experience as students, to let him know what WSU has done for us. He was talking with President Millner, and then he announced his decision to endow us.”
Taylor said she feels a lot of gratitude for the Foulger donation.
“Mr. Foulger, thank you for your generous donation,” she said. “It means a lot to me as a student, as well as to the entire department. You have affected many lives and will continue to do so.”