Sixty years later, Colorado College financial aid recipient endows music professorship - Colorado College

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For Immediate Release

Media contacts:
Jane Turnis
(719) 389-6138

Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038


CC graduate and former concert harpsichordist bequeaths $1.3 million

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Dec. 17, 2008 – A Colorado College music major and financial aid recipient who graduated 60 years ago has given the college $1.3 million to endow a music professorship.

The Christine S. Johnson Professorship in Music will be established with a bequest from the Christine Spence Johnson Trust. Johnson was a member of the Colorado College class of 1948.

The new professorship will be awarded for a one-year term, every other year, to a deserving faculty member in Colorado College’s music department. The professorship, which recognizes extraordinary teaching, research and service contributions, will commence in the academic year 2009-2010.

"I am elated at the possibilities that the new Christine S. Johnson Endowed Professorship will offer the full-time members of the music department at Colorado College, said Richard J. Agee, chair of the department. “Our faculty looks forward eagerly to the many possibilities for independent research and performance that the Johnson Professorship will provide to them for years to come."

"Ms. Johnson's generous legacy is a powerful testimony to the impact that a Colorado College experience has on one's life. That experience endures today because of such generosity," said Stephen Elder, vice president for advancement. "Falling as it does within the timing of our Vision 2010 effort and in these challenging economic times, her bequest has all the more leverage, providing important endowment, under girding our faculty, and inspiring all of us."

Johnson, from Mt. Vernon, Ohio, came to CC as a transfer student in her sophomore year to study under famed concert pianist Johana Harris and CC Music Professor Max Lanner. She graduated with a degree in music, and later went on to study with Dorothy Lane in Chicago, Sylvia Marlowe in New York and Isolde Ahlgrimm in Vienna.

From 1958 to 1964, Johnson was a concert harpsichordist and member of the Toledo Symphony, performing under the name Christine St. Clair. She lived in London and Germany during the 1960s, and frequently traveled to Eastern and Western Europe, where she enjoyed a broad range of music. Johnson stopped performing after returning to the United States in the late 1960s, but continued her deep commitment and involvement with the music world as a patron of the Sanibel (Fla.) Music Festival.

In 2001, Johnson established the Christine S. Johnson 1948 Scholarship at CC to support deserving music majors. Johnson herself had received scholarship support while a student at CC and understood the value of such financial assistance. Now, 60 years after receiving her diploma, Johnson’s love of music will be remembered at Colorado College.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,975 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. For more information, visit <>.