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Clifford and Rosa Julstrom
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Clifford and Rosa Julstrom
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The 1939 Lab School Band and Orchestra.
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Stephen Julstrom Honors Late Parents with Endowed Scholarships

July 29, 2019

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MACOMB, IL - - Stephen Julstrom and his wife, WIU alumna Carmen J. Agoyo Silva, recently honored his late parents, Clifford A. and Rosa Julstrom, by endowing the two scholarships they established.

The Julstrom Music Scholarship and the Julstrom Foreign Language Scholarship were established in February 1987 by Clifford A. and Rosa Julstrom.

Stephen grew up in Macomb, attending the Western Lab School K-12. Carmen, who is a Board of Trustees Bachelor of Arts (currently Bachelor of Arts in General Studies) and Master of Arts in Sociology alumna, and Stephen have a close relationship to WIU and chose to honor his parents with the endowment.

"They wanted their legacy to help students pursue their goals and dreams with less financial constraints," said Stephen. "They believed in music education for everyone. These scholarships are in line with their beliefs that music can and should enrich everyone's lives, not just those who choose it as a profession. They also believed that it was very important that we all become aware of and part of a broader world, which is part of why they created the Julstrom Foreign Language Scholarship."

Clifford came to WIU in 1936 and served as the chair of the music department from 1949-69. During his time, the music department and Western experienced rapid growth. He organized and directed the first WIU Symphony Orchestra (known then as the Western Civic Orchestra). Rosa was an independent piano teacher in Macomb for 60 years.

Both Clifford and Rosa studied music from an early age. At age 16, Clifford left Des Moines, IA to study violin in Chicago. He came to Western in 1936. In 1943, he was drafted into Army Band Director School and directed the 65th Division Army band. After the war, he met Rosa while he was earning his Ph.D. in music composition and she was earning her master's degree in music theory, both at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. After New York, Clifford returned to Western and his wife followed shortly after.

"I give my father credit for establishing a comprehensive music program at the lab school," Stephen said. "While he was at Western, he not only organized the first symphony orchestra, he also established a summer music camp for area high school kids, as well as a foundation and legacy for music. My mom was also very involved with the music department; she often provided accompaniment for faculty musicians and was a substitute teacher when needed.

"I credit both of my parents for giving my brother, Bryant, and me a solid foundation in music and providing many opportunities for growth. Even though neither of us went into music professionally, music has remained an important part of our lives."

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