Kansas Public Radio has received a $100,000 gift from longtime KPR donor and listener Don Marquis that will be used to create an endowed fund for classical music programming.
Marquis has requested that the fund be in memory of former KPR radio host Jim Seaver. Seaver was a University of Kansas Professor whose popular and long-running show Opera Is My Hobby, began broadcasting on KANU-FM (now KPR) four days after the station first went on the air in 1952, and continued broadcasting weekly until Seaver’s death in 2011. Opera Is My Hobby was the second-longest-running public radio show with its original host, and Seaver was posthumously inducted into the Kansas Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2011.
Kansas Public Radio listeners who want to invest in classical music on KPR will be able to contribute to the fund, which will generate more revenue as the principal grows.
Both Don Marquis and Jim Seaver were University of Kansas professors who made significant impacts in their fields of study. In his academic career, Seaver taught Western Civilization and Ancient History at KU for decades. He retired in the late 1980s after 40 years of teaching and scholarship, and, until March of 2011, continued to produce his radio show weekly.
Don Marquis is a Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Kansas whose main interests are ethics and medical ethics. Marquis and Seaver were good friends as well as neighbors, who bonded over their shared love of classical and opera music.
Initial revenue from the fund will be directed towards live performances featuring classical music that will be a part of Kansas Public Radio’s year-long celebration of their 70th anniversary on September 15, 2022.
Kansas Public Radio is the largest station in the region that provides locally-hosted classical music and regularly features live performances from local, national and international musicians, broadcast from KPR’s Live Performance Studio. The station’s broadcast schedule includes eight hours of classical music each weekday, hosted by Cordelia Brown, Jeff Watson and Marcia Higginson.
KPR, a 20-time Kansas Association of Broadcasters Station of the Year, licensed to the University of Kansas, broadcasts on 91.5 FM and 96.1 FM in Lawrence, 89.7 FM in Emporia, 91.3 FM in Olsburg-Junction City, 89.9 FM in Atchison, 90.3 FM in Chanute, and 99.5 FM and 97.9 FM in Manhattan. KPR can be heard online at kansaspublicradio.org. KPR also operates KPR2, a news-talk programming stream, which can be heard on an HD receiver or on KPR’s website, and on 96.1 in Lawrence and 97.9 in Manhattan.