FORT WAYNE - The Fort Wayne-based English Bonter Mitchell Foundation has awarded $1 million to IPFW to assist in the creation of the Purdue School of Music. The school says the grant will fund new degrees, a graduate program and a new recording studio, among other efforts.

Mike Eikenberry, chairman of the English Bonter Mitchell Foundation, says the school of music will "bring notoriety to Fort Wayne, to the northeast region, and beyond." Greg Jones, chair of the current Department of Music at IPFW, says the new School of Music will be the first of its kind in Purdue's history.

IPFW says it will use the money to establish degrees in music technology and jazz performance studies as well as graduate programs in music therapy and music education and a post-baccalaureate international performers certificate. The grant will also support national music festivals and symposia on the Fort Wayne campus, and trips to Nashville to give students real-world music industry experience.

The university will also install a world-class recording studio inside the Rhinehart Music Center. IPFW says it will also look to enrich its partnership with Fort Wayne-based Sweetwater Sound to give students more experiences in sound recording, business and live sound production.

IPFW Chancellor Vicky Carwein says the foundation has contributed more than $6 million to the university over the years. "This gift shows its continued commitment to student success and higher education in our region. We look forward to being able to continually offer exceptional opportunities to our talented students who will become future musicians and contributors to our community and beyond."