A visionary goal set decades ago within the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and the School of Music has been achieved with ISU now designated an All-Steinway School. Criteria were met with the purchase of three Steinway concert grand pianos and 11 Steinway uprights.

Acquisition of the pianos was possible as a result of the $12 million gift from alumna Wonsook Kim and her husband, Thomas Clement, in 2019. The college and Wonsook Kim School of Art were named in recognition of Kim ’75, M.A. ’76, M.F.A. ’78, honorary doctorate ’19.

Appears In

“Wonsook Kim’s gift made it possible for us to purchase additional Steinway pianos to support all of our undergraduate music majors and graduate students and raise the profile of music at ISU,” said college dean Jean Miller, including for student Christine Angela Aganon.

“Her gift also enabled the School of Music to be designated as an All-Steinway School, a distinction that fewer than 200 universities and colleges throughout the country can claim.”

Tuyen Tonnu and Geoffrey Duce, both associate professors of piano, selected the 14 pianos after visiting the Steinway Piano Gallery in Maryland Heights, Missouri. The upright pianos for classrooms and practice rooms will replace aging pianos in poor condition. A new Roland digital keyboard was purchased for the School of Theatre and Dance’s Westhoff Theatre.

Kim’s love and appreciation for the visual arts, music, and the performing arts is reflected in her willingness to include the Steinway initiative as part of the couple’s gift. The Steinway purchase is one of the many ways the donation will impact the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts for years.

“All-Steinway Schools demonstrate a commitment to excellence by providing the best instruments possible for the study of music,” Miller said. “The Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and School of Music community are happy we can provide the best pianos for our students and proud of the All-Steinway School designation.”