Springfield, Ohio — Even though she only spent four semesters at Wittenberg University, Lois Hagelberger Huebner never forgot her love of the university and its music school. Now, following her passing at age 107, Huebner has ensured that her love of music is passed on to others, thanks to a $2.6 million estate gift to Wittenberg.
"All of us at the University are beyond grateful for Ms. Huebner's generosity in leaving this extraordinary gift," said President Dick Helton. "With her gift, we will be able to reimagine what is possible in our efforts to attract the world's best musicians to Wittenberg."
Huebner was born July 29, 1908, in Anna, Ohio. She graduated in May 1926 from Anna High School before heading to Springfield to attend Wittenberg. Two years later, she penned a note to then Wittenberg President Rees Edgar Tulloss, which read in part:
In response to your letter as to why I have not continued my studies at Wittenberg, I wish to say that it is not because I do not like the school. I was a music student, and I think there is no better school with better music instructors than Wittenberg’s School of Music. If I ever should go to school again, it will be at Wittenberg’s music school."
"Ms. Huebner experienced in her short time at Wittenberg what so many of our graduates have experienced – a student-centered music program that challenges as its inspires, meets students were they are at and then encourages them every step of the way toward a life of meaning and purpose," said Christopher Durrenberger, professor of music and department chair. "We are indebted to her and her family for their extreme generosity.”
Despite leaving Wittenberg, Huebner never left music. She went on to pursue a career as an organist at the Schine Ohio Theater in Sidney, Ohio, while also performing in other venues, including many state fairs and Lions National Conventions. She married Arthur Huebner who was employed by Fulmer Markets for 23 years before his retirement in 1968. Previously, he had been employed by the Kroger Co. and Lagonda Bank. He passed away in 1976. The couple did not have any children.
“The gift from Ms. Huebner is not only generous but shows her commitment to our university and future Wittenberg students pursing their education in music,” said Wendy Kobler, vice president for advancement. “It is truly transformational and demonstrates her love and a lasting legacy that will impact our university forever.”
All the funds will be endowed and used to create scholarships for deserving students interested in majoring in music at Wittenberg University.