Now a Friend of the University, Dr. Wallace “Wally” Anderson is making a $25,000 pledge to establish an endowed resource fund in honor of his 8th grade music teacher—Dr. Edward Kocher (Duquesne Professor of Music), or “Mr. Kocher,” as he affectionately calls him. 

Wally, as he likes to be called, has always wanted to do something to honor Kocher, who had a major influence helping to cultivate a lifelong interest in and appreciation of music in Wally. After following Kocher’s educational career for years, the time seemed right to do just that.

In the mid-1970s, Wally began studying trombone with Kocher, who sold his Mount Vernon Bach Stradivarius model 42 straight tenor trombone to Wally’s parents so Wally would have a good instrument to use. In February of 2023, Wally surprised Kocher by presenting him with that trombone—fully restored—as a symbolic launch of the new resource fund.

Wally studied at Illinois State University and the University of Illinois College of Medicine and is now a Radiologist at Central Illinois Radiological Associates. He resides outside St. Louis in Edwardsville, IL. His previous philanthropic efforts include establishing three endowments at Illinois State University (honoring his parents and three former professors) and at Augustana and Illinois colleges (honoring a favorite aunt and uncle).

In addition to restoring and returning the trombone to Kocher, Wally also unveiled his plan to establish the Edward Kocher Endowed Resource Fund, which will be utilized to support the Music Education Program.

Kocher, who remembered Wally fondly, was honored by the presentation, saying, “I find it both humbling and affirming that Wally Anderson has directed his philanthropy to my name and music education. I had the honor to work with Wally in middle school many decades ago, and his surprise visit to our campus was a touching reminder of the lasting power of the gift of music. During his visit, Wally gave me a flash drive with the recording of our middle school jazz band. I shared a clip of the band with our instrumental music education expert Dr. Paul Doerksen, who smiled and nodded with approval at our swinging band!”

The resource fund is currently on track to be fully funded by 2028, at which time awards can begin to be made. If you share Wally's regard for Mr. (Dr.) Kocher, please consider making a gift to accelerate the process. To learn more about how to do so, please call Duquesne University’s Advancement Office at (412) 396-6040 or email igniteFREEDUQUESNE.

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April 16, 2024