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Waukegan native gifts $1.5M for music professorship

George Chandler

George Chandler

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Updated: October 1, 2011 12:38AM

APPLETON, WIS. — George Chandler credits his former professors at Lawrence University for forging a life-long affection for his alma mater.

“Not only were they all brilliant teachers who knew how to draw the best out of their students, but they were able to make a callow youth ‘see the light,’” said Chandler.

The former Waukegan resident and his late wife, Marjorie, a pair of life-long, music lovers, have established an endowed professorship in Lawrence’s conservatory of music with a $1.5 million gift, university officials announced today.

Lawrence cellist Janet Anthony will be the first holder of the new George and Marjorie Olsen Chandler Professorship in Music, which began July 1. Appointments to endowed professorships are made in recognition of academic and artistic distinction through teaching excellence and/or scholarly achievement.

While George and Marjorie Chandler both attended Lawrence, they did not meet as students, having graduated seven years apart, 1951 and 1944, respectively. They married in 1962 and shared a mutual love of music — George sang in the choir as a student, Marjorie played piano — and an appreciation for their experiences at Lawrence.

A 1947 graduate of Waukegan Township High School, George Chandler earned a degree magna cum laude in classics from Lawrence and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Illinois. He enjoyed a career as an attorney, planner and manager with the Interstate Commerce Commission and the U.S. Department of Transportation. He retired in 1985 and makes his home today in Durham, N.C.

Marjorie Chandler, an Oshkosh, Wis., native, graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Minnesota. She was a statistician with Educational Testing Service in Princeton, N.J., and later in her career worked as a senior official at the National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S. Department of Education. Marjorie died in 2003.

“We were always attracted to classical music,” said George Chandler in explaining the decision to endow a music professorship. “During our 35 years in the Washington D.C., area, it was a rare week when we failed to attend some kind of musical performance at the Kennedy Center, the National Cathedral or George Mason University.

“We selected our retirement home in North Carolina with the rich musical life provided largely by the many nearby colleges and universities in mind,” he added.

The Chandlers met Anthony in the early 1990s when they took a summer seminar on Mozart that she taught.

Anthony, an active soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, has taught cello at Lawrence since 1984. She has toured with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Austrian Radio Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of the Vienna Symphony. She also has performed or taught throughout the world, including Argentina, China and Japan.

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