Gladys Cooper's Gift

Gladys Cooper's Gift

As his fingers glide across the 88 ivory keys, the sound is pure beauty. Paul Kenyon, chair of the music department at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), sits in the Cooper Music Parlor, where the sun from the south side of campus shines in through the big bay windows.

Nearly two decades ago, PLNU received a gift from Gladys Cooper, a song evangelist and cattle rancher. Gladys and her husband, Frank, used the proceeds from their successful cattle ranch in Central California to start the construction of Cooper Music Center at PLNU in November, 1994. Gladys Cooper's desire to help Christian musicians has been passed on through this structure in more ways than one.

A little piece of Gladys' gift lives on in the nostalgic-inspired parlor room. It goes by the name of Louie, King Louie to be exact-a 1918 Steinway grand piano that belonged to Gladys herself. Kenyon said this recently refurbished piano represents more than a beautiful piece of furniture.

'It was her personal instrument,' Kenyon said. 'It was part of her home, and it came to the university as part of her gift.' -Christina Grijalva, The Point Weekly, Point Loma Nazarene University's student newspaper

Gladys also gave to many other Nazarene ministries. One way was through a $100,000 Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) that she opened with the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene in June of 1975.

This gift annuity paid her $6,000 per year until her death. Then the second annuitant, a retired missionary, received the same amount until his death in 2010. Now, the CGA remainder of $93,750 will be used to establish a scholarship endowment for Nazarene Bible College through the Church of the Nazarene Foundation. This CGA paid out $210,000 to the annuitants and still allowed a substantial remainder for future students. A charitable gift annuity and an endowment with the Foundation are great ways to model generosity.

All amounts are expressed in USD.

Note: This is one in a series of articles for 'Modeling Generosity' a series where Holiness Today partners with the Church of the Nazarene Foundation and other entities. Learn how God's people model generosity in their lives. Help inspire others to leave a lasting legacy by sending your stories, or the story of someone you know who lives generously, to

Holiness Today, May/June 2011