Berklee Today- Helping Hands

by Marjorie O'Malley


  Susan and Gary Ogan
  Richard Soref
  Dr. Henry Schniewind

Susan Ogan
Susan Ogan directs her boundless energy and passion to the things that she believes in, and she believes in Berklee College of Music. Throughout the four years that her son Gregory attended Berklee, Susan saw his transformation first hand as a musician and as a music production and engineering student. Recognizing the importance of updating the technology and equipment to ensure that Berklee students have the necessary skills to produce the highest quality music possible, Susan established the first-ever endowed fund for this purpose.

"I established the fund in memory of my husband, Gary, who passed away four years ago," says Ogan. "He was always ahead of the curve in whatever endeavor he undertook. He saw the value of investing in technology to improve work, and especially to create and produce the best music possible. I wanted to invest in Berklee in a way that would be very tangible and in a way that would perpetuate Gary's memory. Like my late husband, young people attending Berklee are intrinsically risk takers-that's why they are in a music college. I want to make sure their Berklee experience is the best it can be."

Richard Soref
Musical performances affect people at many different levels. Richard Soref has felt so inspired by the outstanding musical performances he has attended at Berklee, that he is, in his words, investing in Berklee to "foster, encourage, and reward worthy students."

Following on the heels of a generous donation that rewards female instructors who have inspired their students through their work in the classroom and onstage, Soref is investing in student performers. His latest gift, which will be paid out over the course of four years, allows the dean of the Performance Division to identify an outstanding student performer or performers to receive the Richard Soref Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance.

Soref has acted upon the feeling that so many have experienced after enjoying a show at Berklee. He studies music himself and knows how much discipline it takes to achieve the level of talent that he has witnessed at Berklee performances. Soref is making investments to recognize the outstanding talent that we cherish at Berklee.

Dr. Henry Schniewind
A psychiatrist by day and a jazz performer by night, Dr. Henry Schniewind was 60 years old when he enrolled as a freshman at Berklee. Immersing himself in the music, he enjoyed his time at the college, but he does not recommend that others wait until age 60 to return to school.

Recognizing that many of the older Berklee students were drawing out their savings to attend, Dr. Schniewind made a very generous gift to establish the Henry Schniewind Scholarship for Older Students at Berklee. Recipients must demonstrate outstanding musical ability, financial need, and an intention to pursue a music career.

"I wanted to give back," says Schniewind. "I am able to do music in the way that I want to, thanks to my time at Berklee. Establishing an endowed scholarship fund is a very creative way to give back. I was humbled by the sacrifices my peers were making to realize their dream of attending Berklee. We are going to try to double the amount in this scholarship fund. I want to add to it and will be asking my family and friends to contribute to it as well. All of us working together can make a Berklee education possible for those who have dreamed of it for years. I want to help make their dream come true."

To make a donation to the Dr. Henry Schniewind Endowed Fund, click here.