Fulfilling a Dream

Shirley Jacobson honors her family's music legacy by supporting K-State Students

"It’s very rewarding to see that people are willing to donate to the marching band because we do put in a lot of time. It makes me want to continue to do my best in everything I do. To know that someone cared enough to make it easier for me to pay for school is incredible." — Sarah Grose, Painter Family Marching Scholarship recipient


A trumpet player raised in a musical family, Shirley Painter Jacobson planned to study at Kansas State University until a flood wiped out her family’s farm income in 1951. After moving to Topeka, Kansas, she launched a career with BNSF Railway and joined the local Santa Fe Band, where she still plays trumpet after 64 concert seasons.

But this fall, Jacobson plans to fulfill her dream and play with a different band. At the invite of Dr. Frank Tracz, Jacobson will play the Wabash Cannonball with the Pride of Wildcat Land. She will join fellow trumpeters like Sarah Grose, a third-year music education student and one of the first recipients of the Painter Family Marching Scholarship.

Jacobson created that scholarship with a gift in her charitable trust, which provides her with lifelong payments and eventually endows her scholarship fund. By working with the KSU Foundation to sell the family farm and create her charitable trust, Jacobson avoided capital gains tax, received guaranteed income and honored her family’s musical legacy by helping K-State students.

“I realized it was more lucrative and more dependable income than waiting for the crops to come in each year,” Jacobson said. “In the process, I saw the benefit of aiding other young people to follow their dream. I just wanted to help students.”

Ready to start making a difference now, Jacobson gave cash so the scholarship could immediately begin helping students like Grose. Jacobson enjoys the opportunity to meet her scholarship recipients, who in turn are honored by her generous support.

“It’s very rewarding to see that people are willing to donate to the marching band because we do put in a lot of time. It makes me want to continue to do my best in everything I do,” Grose said. “To know that someone cared enough to make it easier for me to pay for school is incredible.”

To support the K-State Marching Band, visit www.found.ksu.edu/give/band or contact Gordon Dowell at 785-532-7565 or gordond@found.ksu.edu.

Shirley Jacobson

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