News Archive

Dr. Barbara Mathis Vocal Scholarship established

The Lamar University Foundation has announced the establishment of a new endowed scholarship for students majoring in music. The Dr. Barbara Mathis Vocal Scholarship will provide funding for full-time music majors with a concentration in either voice or vocal performance.

“I had the privilege of working with Barbara for about 20 years,” said Kurt Gilman, interim chair of the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music. “She was not only a very fine vocalist and a superb teacher of vocal music, but she was a superb researcher. She did extensive studies on the anatomy of the vocal chords and how singing is managed by the various anatomical systems.”

Mathis was a long-standing music professor at Lamar, where she taught a variety of voice classes including studio voice, language dictions, structure and function of the voice, and graduate vocal methods.

“She knew the business inside and out, and that’s what made her an exemplary teacher,” Gilman said. “It is always an honor when a faculty member of long tenure leaves and then endows a scholarship. It’s always a special thing.”

After 22 years of service at Lamar, Mathis retired during the summer of 2006. Upon her retirement, former students presented a two-hour recital in her honor. The initial contributions to the endowed scholarship came from these students, along with her friends and colleagues.

“Barbara was very pro-Lamar in everything she did,” Gilman said. “She always promoted Lamar very highly, both at Lamar and off the campus as well. “We’d all like to think that we would have funds available after we retire from an institution to give back in the form of a scholarship for a deserving student.”

For more information about establishing an endowed scholarship, contact the Lamar University Foundation at (409) 880-2117.