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Advancement News

Joe Walsh Funds Talent Scholarship

Posted Apr. 28, 2008

Rock ‘n’ roll legend Joe Walsh, best known as a member of the megagroup The Eagles, has funded the first talent-based scholarship at Kent State University’s College of the Arts. Walsh’s gift, which will provide full-tuition support for a student in the school for the next five years, is intended to assist recipients with strong performing-arts skills.

“I couldn’t have gotten a scholarship based on my academic ability, but I blossomed at Kent,” Walsh says. “And I just think there may be some other people at Kent I could help.”

Walsh was a student at Kent State during the late 1960s, when he discovered his affinity for music and joined his first hit band, the James Gang.

“In terms of a career, I got one,” Walsh says. “And that was a direct result of my time at Kent.”

The gift allows the university to aid a group of students it otherwise might not be able to.

“What is so great about it — as Joe Walsh knows and has stated — sometimes you have talented people whose academic performance doesn’t reflect that,” says John Crawford, associate dean of the College of the Arts. “And now we have a way to award that talent with a substantial scholarship.”

The first recipient will be David Jaramillo, a pianist who traveled from Ecuador for the auditions.

“It was a really tremendous performance that he gave,” Crawford says. “He played some selections by Prokofiev, and it was so clear to everyone on the committee that he had talent and commitment to his art.”

Walsh hopes his gift will allow aspiring performers to realize their dreams and goals.

“If they’re in a creative community like Kent and Kent State, and I can help them stay there until they blossom, that’s what I’m trying to do,” he said.