(photos by Chris Stehno or Levente Borvak)
Marilyn Walker provided University of Dallas students the opportunity not only to perform but to excel through the many choirs, musicals and instrumental performances she directed during the 32 years she graced our campus. The Dallas Catholic Choir, Latin Choir, Collegium Cantorum, Chant Schola, musicals, Crowley Series, Brown-Bag Recitals, faculty performances, visiting artist series, and choir tours to Germany, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Spain, France, Costa Rica and Canada all took place under her leadership. Through the unique genres of sacred polyphony and Gregorian Chant, Collegium Cantorum members deepened their knowledge not just of music but also of church history, art and architecture, as they sang in the great churches and cathedrals of Europe. During those years, Collegium sang over 70 wedding Masses for its members and alumni, representing the University of Dallas in many parishes throughout the United States.
In 2019, Walker has played a major role in bringing excellent musical performances to the greater Dallas music audience from the UD community by hosting three Crowley Chamber Trio Concerts at the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas. Her continued support of UD music students and faculty is commendable — now for over 40 years.
As the University of Dallas works to establish a music major, it seems fitting that we use this opportunity to honor Walker — who has had such a great impact on UD students, our music program, and the greater community, not only within UD and Catholic circles but around the world — and support the music program through the Marilyn Walker Endowment for Music, created by trustee and alumna Mary Ritter, BA '85, in 2019. This endowment will support music faculty and students through student scholarships, faculty salaries and stipends, equipment purchases, or any other expenses related to building and maintaining the music program at UD. In Walker's own words:
"This tribute is totally unexpected and very humbling.
"My years at UD were the best years of my life, and I always felt that I was the fortunate one in having the privilege — and the challenge! — of working with our exceptional students. The successes that the music program had during those years (and there were many successes) were due in great part to their enthusiasm and dedication. Together we were able to continually expand the presence of music on campus, and also to add a concentration in music for those wanting more academic credit for their study and participation.
"For many years the concentration was sufficient to meet the need, and I thought that would always be the case. However, it seems that now both current and prospective students are requesting more. As a result, the university will soon be offering a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Our B.A. in Music will bring in those students who definitely want our superior academics while choosing music as their major study.
"I look forward to the future!" - Marilyn Walker (2019)
Walker’s deep commitment to quality, unity and prayerful treatment of sacred music was a unique and precious gift that she gave generously and tirelessly for years. Her example of stewardship and dedication is inspiring; we can show our appreciation with our support of her named endowment fund, which will build the music program and music major at UD. Your gift is deeply appreciated.
To make a gift to Marilyn's endowment, please click on the button below and in the drop down menu, select "Marilyn Walker Endowment for Music."