September 20, 2019

CIM Receives $2.5 Million in New Scholarship Funding from Venerable Cleveland Philanthropists Barbara Robinson and Mal & Barbara Mixon

Orchestra photo

Longtime traditions of giving to Cleveland-area nonprofit organizations by two of Cleveland’s most prominent families add to an unprecedented era of endowment fundraising at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

CIM announced on Friday, September 20, that Trustee Barbara S. Robinson, a driving force for the arts in Cleveland and nationwide, and Cleveland power couple Barbara W. and A. Malachi Mixon III, have donated a combined $2.5 million to the Institute to establish new, life-changing student scholarships.

Robinson’s gift of $1.5 million establishes the Robinson Family Presidential Scholarship, which will provide full tuition plus room, board and fees for an exceptional student.

A $1 million donation from the Mixons creates the A. Malachi Mixon III and Barbara W. Mixon Dean’s Scholarship and awards full tuition to an outstanding student.

CIM has raised nearly $13 million for scholarships in the last year, building on the momentum generated through Blueprint:100, the Institute’s bold strategy to ensure graduates of the school’s next 100 years are as bright and accomplished as those of the first 100, says CIM President and CEO Paul W. Hogle. Launched in 2017, Blueprint:100 charts the course for CIM’s second century, investing resources in tangible improvements to the student experience including such initiatives as lower tuition, a new student housing complex, renovations to existing space and raising more scholarship dollars to attract the next generation of the world’s most talented classical music students.         

With a combined lifetime giving total approaching $10 million, the Mixon and Robinson families are two of the most charitable donors in CIM history.

“Few families have left such an indelible imprint on CIM as the Robinsons and Mixons. Their extraordinary support is a tremendous vote of confidence in the work we do every day,” Hogle said. “Thanks to the dedication they have shown to us over many years, Barbara, Mal and Barbara have truly made an imprint on the next generation of classical musicians. Evidence of CIM’s remarkable trajectory can be traced directly to these three compassionate people. Their commitment and service to CIM is one of boundless energy as they have worked tirelessly to ensure our students have the resources they need to be the future of classical music.”

Barbara Robinson
Barbara Robinson 

Robinson, who has spent most of her life on the forefront of efforts to promote and support arts and culture in Northeast Ohio and nationally, has a special connection to CIM. A pianist who once performed with the Boston Pops, Robinson studied in CIM’s preparatory division as a child and was a teacher to young prep students in her early adult years. She also has studied flute and violin. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and also the Harvard Radcliffe program in business administration.

Her work as an advocate for the arts has taken her from classrooms to the Ohio Statehouse to the hallowed halls of Congress in Washington, DC. For her dedication to the arts in Cleveland, she was celebrated in 2018 by the Cleveland Arts Prize with a new special prize named in her honor. The Barbara Robinson Prize for the Advancement of the Arts is awarded annually to an individual or organization for extraordinary commitment to advancement of the arts through leadership in public policy, legislation, arts education and community development. 

In addition to CIM, Robinson serves as an officer and member of the executive committee of the Musical Arts Association, the founding and governing body of The Cleveland Orchestra. She also is an honorary trustee of the Cleveland Museum of Art and has served as a trustee for such organizations as Ohio Dance, Cleveland Children’s Museum, Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (formerly Young Audiences, Inc.), and Americans for the Arts. She served as chair of the Ohio Arts Council for 15 years, Arts Midwest and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. She is the widow of jewelry magnate Larry “J.B.” Robinson, a household name in Cleveland for many years.

“Barbara has given so much of her time and talent to ensure a vibrant, thriving, dynamic arts community that ranks Cleveland among the most cultured cities in the world. Her unflagging enthusiasm for our work has contributed in countless ways to CIM’s success,” Hogle said.

Barbara and A. Malachi Mixon III

The Mixons are truly a formidable couple within Cleveland’s business and philanthropic community and in their winter hometown of Naples, FL.

Barbara Weber Mixon, a lifelong Clevelander and, like Barbara Robinson, an economics graduate of Wellesley College, has served CIM as a member of the Women’s Committee. She was honored recently as a Lifetime Trustee of her alma mater, Hathaway Brown in Shaker Heights, after serving as a member of the school’s Board of Trustees since 2002. A gift from Barbara and Mal Mixon in 2010 provided funding for construction of what is now the Mixon Family Playground at HB. She has served as a trustee of the Benjamin Rose Institute (formerly the Golden Age Centers of Cleveland) and volunteered with various local organizations in both Cleveland and Naples. 

Mal Mixon was inducted in 2017 as the inaugural CIM Lifetime Trustee, recognizing his status as a former Chair of the Board of Trustees, his leadership of the last capital campaign and his family’s gift of CIM’s flagship recital hall. He is well known to Northeast Ohioans as a member of the board of advisors and former chair of MCM Capital Partners and retired founder, chairman and CEO of Invacare Corp. He is retired from the boards of The Sherwin-Williams Company and Park-Ohio Holdings Corp. and is chairman emeritus of the board of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, on which he has served for more than two decades. As a community leader, he has volunteered his time to help create and sustain vibrant nonprofit and arts and cultural communities in the region. Under his leadership, CIM thrived as one of the preeminent music conservatories in the world, bringing pride and distinction to Cleveland as a destination for the world’s most talented classical music students.

Mixon also served his country. Between earning a bachelor’s degree at Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School, he attained the rank of captain after four years in the US Marine Corps, including a year of deployment during the Vietnam War.

“Mal and Barbara’s leadership and the generosity they have bestowed over decades of engagement continues to reverberate through CIM’s studios, practice rooms, and, of course, the crown jewel of Mixon Hall. With this gift of a Dean’s Scholarship, they will transform the lives of the future students who receive it,” said Hogle.    

Three previous Presidential Scholarships were created in 2018 by Clive Hamlin, emeritus associate professor of pathology and director of the immunology training program at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Edward and Gay Cull Addicott and an anonymous donor. Gay Addicott served as president of Sterling Manufacturing Co., Inc., a company founded by her late husband Robert Cull.

CIM Board of Trustees Chair Richard J. Hipple and his wife Jean Hipple gave $1 million in March 2019 to create the Conservatory’s first-ever Dean’s Scholarship.

In his praise for Robinson and the Mixons, Hogle reflected on their respective lifetimes of altruism.

“We’re humbled to have such warm, compassionate friends – and visionary leaders – as Mal and Barbara Mixon and Barbara Robinson in our corner. Their generosity in the last several years has been deeply inspiring and a testament to the value the Institute brings to people locally and globally,” Hogle said. “We are very grateful to them for their unwavering and fervent support of CIM. Their legacies and those of all who are champions of CIM will provide for the future of classical music for generations to come.”