Endowed Scholarships Support Brass and Piano

Mistele couple establish scholarships to leave a lasting impact for students and honor a loved one.

Margaret and Paul Mistele of Ventura California

When asked why Paul and Margaret Mistele of Ventura, California decided to establish two endowed scholarships, each worth more than $500,000, the answer came quickly, “We wanted to do something for the world that will leave a lasting impact.” Providing access to a world-class education makes that difference while providing a wonderful way to honor loved-ones.

The Misteles, who are members of the Robert S. Shaw Society, have made estate plans to direct a charitable bequest to MSU’s College of Music, with an estimated current value of $1.05 million. When realized, this gift will make a major impact on the lives of future music students, providing approximately $50,000 in scholarship funds annually to support talented and deserving students. 

Music has been a major part of Paul’s life since childhood. While his father could not carry a tune, his mother was an accomplished pianist and organist, remaining active playing the piano well into her final retirement years. Paul’s mother passed this love of music on to all three of her children. Paul started trombone lessons in 5th grade and continued his music into college. Paul entered MSU as a music major and member of the Spartan Marching Band, and graduated from the College of Business in 1970. Margaret was also involved in music from a young age with an early introduction to the piano that continues to this day.

Paul and Margaret established a current use scholarship in trombone studies in the early 2000s, gifting an annual scholarship of $2,500. Paul explained, “Margaret and I have been delighted to be a part of the lives of trombone students for the past several years.” 

The joy Paul and Margaret experienced, learning first hand the difference their scholarship made to the talented and worthy student recipients from their personal letters, provided the impetus to establish endowed scholarship funds. Paul explained, “Endowments live on. Clearly, annual contributions are very important to the continuation of MSU and higher education in general. But the ability to impact the lives of students well beyond an annual gift is a worthwhile endeavor. A university cannot survive alone on year-to-year contributions. There must be an enduring source of capital to assure the operation for years to come.” 

Wanting to honor and memorialize his mother, Paul and Margaret established the Ruth Mistele Endowed Scholarship in Piano with half of their estate gift allocated to this scholarship fund. The balance of their planned gift is directed to the Paul and Margaret Mistele Endowed Scholarship in Brass. 

Indeed, the Misteles are doing their part to ensure a bright future for generations of music students at MSU. 

“Building our endowment to support scholarships and fellowships is a top priority for the College of Music,” stated James Forger, dean. “It assists our faculty to recruit, retain and support students with exceptional talent and potential while ever-building the quality of the programs that serve collective student learning. We are so grateful to the Misteles for their generosity which will make a difference in perpetuity for countless students.”
Paul and Margaret encourage, “Be a part of your university and give back. The College of Music and MSU make it easy to get involved. Starting is as easy as contributing on-line. But we suggest you make a call and explore what impact you can have in the College of Music with your support. Dean Jim Forger and Rebecca Surian could not be more enjoyable to work with.”

To learn more about establishing a named endowed scholarship, contact Director of Development Rebecca Surian at surian@msu.edu or call 517-353-9872.

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