Nearly 25 years after Sally Shepherd Perkins makes a gift of $350,000 (Dec. 2, 1950) to create a music school in honor of her grandparents Benjamin A. and Mary Hobson Shepherd, President Hackerman holds an inaugural festival on September 19 to introduce the fully funded Shepherd School of Music BA, MA and DMA degree programs under Dean Samuel Jones.
Mrs. Perkins's initial gift allows Rice to offer music courses, concerts and guest lecturers, but her bequest of $4.5 million at her death in 1968 makes possible an expansion to a nationally recognized professional music school. Hackerman authorizes composer-director Jones in 1973 to make a careful study of other university programs, to hire additional music faculty and to develop programs. Students matriculate at the school in September 1975. Jones continues as dean until 1979 but remains affiliated with the school until his retirement in 1997.