Share Your Passion


Planned Giving

Passing the Baton…

The future of VanderCook begins with you. Your generous support of VanderCook College of Music and our mission to prepare great music teachers is greatly appreciated.  We know providing for your family and loved ones is a priority for you, and we ask that you consider VanderCook as a part of your extended family. Having you as a select supporter means so much to us. If we can be of assistance in any way as you consider further charitable giving, please let us know.

Development Office

Wills and Estates

You can leave major gifts by will to VanderCook and your estate enjoys the benefits of the “unlimited charitable estate tax deduction” available to them.  When beneficiaries of a will decide to make charitable gifts in the decedent’s name to honor the decedent’s wishes, the gifts are considered made by the beneficiaries and the estate receives no charitable deduction for the donations.  If you wish to support the mission of VanderCook, we encourage you to be sure it is properly designated in your will to ensure your good intentions.

Testamentary (after-death) charitable remainder unitrusts, charitable remainder annuity trusts, and lead unitrusts are just a few of the ways of caring for VanderCook by will.

There may be no better time than the present to plan for your will.  We would be glad to answer your questions and assist you in you planning.

  • Lawrence Helstern (M.M.Ed. 1970) passed away in December 2010.  A longtime supporter of VanderCook, Helstern was renowned for his 31 years of teaching at Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School in Bradley, IL . VanderCook is honored and grateful to be the recipient of a $100,000 bequest from Helstern’s estate. In addition, Helstern’s family donated his collection of books, sheet music, recordings, vinyl records and a Yamaha upright piano to the college.  Plans are underway to establish a permanent legacy in Helstern’s honor at VanderCook.
  • Merle J. Isaac (1898-1996) dedicated his life to the passionate teaching, playing, and writing of music.  The legacy of Isaac’s commitment will continue as a result of the establishment of the Merle J. Isaac Scholarship from Isaac’s estate.  Through the generosity of his family, this renewable scholarship has been established for a first year string player.  The fund will remain in perpetuity and continue to impact the legacy of VanderCook and its students for many generations.  Martha Norman, Isaac’s niece and manager of the estate, worked with the college to make this important gift.  “It was Merle’s wish to be able to provide financial assistance for deserving students to facilitate their studies at VanderCook,” said Norman. “We as a family are excited to be able to be a part of fulfilling Merle’s wish.”

A Gift of Stock

In a strained economy, giving stock as a charitable gift still makes sense.  Plan well and you can lessen your tax burden without draining your cash flow and help VanderCook.  Even in an unstable market, you may have unrecognized gains in your portfolio.  By giving these appreciated stocks to VanderCook, you receive the benefit of a charitable deduction for their full fair market value without paying capital gains taxes.  Simply focus on the impact your gift will have on VanderCook, our students, and the future of music education.  By making a realistic assessment of how much you need to save and how much you expect to use, you can determine how much you are able to invest in VanderCook.  Having you as a select supporter means so much to us.  

Development Office


We value your support and we hope you consider VanderCook part of your extended family.
A gift to VanderCook is an investment in the future.



VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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