GSU School of Music Receives Multimillion-dollar Planned Gift

September 11,2012

Georgia State University School of Music has received a multimillion-dollarplanned gift from Atlanta alumna Aileen M. Valianos (B.S. 1978, MBA, 1981) and her husband, Chris Valianos, in support of music students, faculty and programs.

“We trust that our gift will help the School of Music achieve its mission, take yet another step toward excellence, and benefit the students, faculty, GSU and the community,” said Aileen Valianos, whose company, Valianos Insurance, specializes in health coverage. Her husband, an attorney, leads Valianos LLC, a mediation, arbitration and counseling practice.

“In the last several years Chris and I have attended a number of productions by GSU’s School of Music,” she said. “We have been inspired by the enthusiasm of the faculty, students, and the practice and commitment that goes into the education of a musician. For me, as a two-time graduate of GSU, the fit was a natural.”

The gift supports the university’s strategic goal of supporting students from all backgrounds to achieve academic and career success at high rates. The mission of the School of Music is to provide a comprehensive, rigorous, and innovative academic program that is consistentwith the urban context and mission of GSU, and that serves the pursuit of artistic, professional, and scholarly excellence through experiences of lasting value to all stakeholders.

“A major gift like this will transform a program,” said William Long, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “That’s particularly true for our School of Music, which will build on already excellent curricula in music performance, production and education, not to mention deep ties to musical communities in Atlanta and around the world. I look forward to working with Aileen and Chris Valianos as we build a strategy for the school’s future.”

Currently, the School of Music enrolls approximately 450 students representing six countries and 21 states, served by 40 full-time and 30 part-time faculty. Concentrations include performance, music education, music management, music recording and technology, composition, and jazz studies.

“Chris and Aileen Valianos realize the value of education and have validated the importance of what we do with their tremendously generous gift,” said School of Music director W. Dwight Coleman. “The significance of their bequest cannot be underestimated.”