Kansas University officials announced today that a new scholarship fund has been created through a bequest from the estate of a late Lawrence resident known for her love of performing arts.
The bequest from Margaret Bushong's estate to the Kansas University Endowment Association will provide scholarships for students majoring in theater, music and art at KU.
Edward Meyen, executive vice chancellor of the Lawrence campus, announced today that the $98,837.16 bequest has established the Margaret Bushong and Suzanne Calvin Scholarship Fund at the KU Endowment Association.
Margaret Bushong, who was born Dec. 24, 1909, in Ottawa, graduated from KU with a bachelor's degree in music education in 1932.
From 1934 to 1941, Margaret Bushong and her two sisters, Rachel and Ione Bushong, who both also earned bachelor's degrees in music education, staged shows with marionettes they created in the 1930s and 1940s. The Bushong sisters wrote and performed scripts and music for the marionette shows, which were held in schools, libraries, museums and clubs across Kansas and in Cleveland, St. Louis, New York and Cincinnati.
After tours of the marionette shows ended, the Bushong sisters opened shops in Lawrence and Kansas City, where they taught people how to make and perform with marionettes.
Margaret Bushong had a nursery school in her home in Lawrence, where she performed for local children. She continued to work with marionettes at summer camps and at art workshops until the 1970s.
In addition, she gave private violin lessons and taught stringed instruments in Lawrence and Eudora schools. She also hand-lettered students' names on every diploma issued by KU from 1942 to 1960.
Margaret Bushong was a member of the Christian Science Church in Lawrence, where she served as a first reader and taught Sunday school for more than 50 years. She also was a member of the KU Gold Medal Club, an alumni group for KU graduates who have marked the 50th anniversary of their graduation. She died on March 21, 1991.
Many of the Bushongs' marionettes have been sold and donated to museums. About 25 were sold for the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, "H.M.S. Pinafore." The Nelson Gallery in Kansas City, Mo., and the Elizabeth M. Watkins Community Museum maintain displays of Bushong marionettes.
Suzanne Calvin, Margaret Bushong's niece, was born July 2, 1940, to Clifton and Rachel Bushong Calvin. A 1958 graduate of Lawrence High School, Suzanne Calvin graduated from KU in 1962 with a bachelor's degree in speech and drama, with a minor in French. A Watkins Scholar finalist, she participated in the honors program and was nominated for the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship during her senior year at KU.
She worked as a secretary at People-To-People in Kansas City from 1963 to 1965. People-To-People, a non-profit, non-political organization that was formed in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to raise cultural and educational awareness, has offices throughout the United States and in 33 different countries.
From 1965 to 1969, she worked in the public relations and advertising department of Pacific Telephone in San Francisco. In her spare time, Suzanne Calvin, who was blind, was a volunteer at KU's Audio-Reader Network, where she broadcasted cooking programs geared for the visually handicapped. She died July 11, 1977.