November 7, 2023
CIM Trustee Stephen Ban moved by encounter with first Addicott Scholarship recipient
When newly appointed CIM Trustee Stephen Ban met bassoon student Nathan Shepherd at Convocation this fall, he was overcome by emotion.
The reason? Shepherd is the first recipient of the greatest gift his late mother left CIM: The Edward and Gay Cull Addicott Presidential Scholarship.
It wasn’t just that Shepherd, a first-year student of Cleveland Orchestra member Barrick Stees, was “marvelously gracious” or “everything we’d hoped a recipient would be,” said Ban, a senior advisor to the Corporate Coalition of Chicago and adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago.
Rather, Ban added, “These were tears of joy that the vision Mom and Ed had sought to bring about was happening, and that I was meeting someone who I knew who would be the first of many.”
Shepherd, too, felt something special. He never knew Addicott, who passed away in August 2022 after more than 20 years of service to CIM, but he relished the opportunity to put a face to the name of the family whose generosity changed his life.
“My dream of attending a conservatory often seemed out of reach,” Shepherd said. “However, the Addicott family’s generosity has completely shifted my view. Because of their scholarship, I am able to pursue my musical studies to their fullest.”
Addicott, too, would have enjoyed meeting Shepherd. Ban said his mother loved music almost as much as she loved her children, and admired those who pursued it at a high level.
Furthermore, Ban said, Addicott valued higher education and routinely made gifts to support it. She appreciated CIM’s high profile among conservatories and endowed the scholarship precisely to ensure students like Shepherd would always be able to study there. This, too, is why Ban made a substantial gift of his own to CIM last year.
“Music gave Mom the greatest joy,” Ban said, calling the scholarship “the perfect marriage of ways to honor her legacy and her love of Cleveland.”
The other cause of Ban’s reaction at meeting Shepherd was pride. Pride in witnessing further evidence of his mother’s impact on the world, through her support of CIM and other institutions.
Although it caught him by surprise, the feeling was in fact an echo of one he’d had several times as an adult, as he learned of his mother’s impact not only on CIM but also on The Cleveland Orchestra, Hiram College, and Holden Arboretum.
“I didn’t really have an appreciation for how deeply involved she was, that she’d become such an important person,” Ban said. “To me, she was just Mom.”