According to Indiana University, the gift is the largest ever given to a music school at a public university and the largest given by individuals to Indiana University.
The funds will be used to endow graduate-student fellowships, undergraduate scholarships, and faculty positions.
"It is impossible to overstate the meaning of this gift to the School of Music," said dean Gwyn Richards. "It provides for student support, faculty chairs, and discretionary funding which when coupled with university matching funds creates an extraordinary resource with which to realize the aspirations of our school. The Jacobses have placed in our hands a more certain future, freeing us to plan long term, extend our reach and strengthen core values. We are indebted to them for their foresight, for their commitment to public education, and for their interest and dedication to the cultural life of our nation."
David Jacobs, who died in 1992, and his brother Richard both graduated from Indiana University. Together the two built shopping centers, office buildings, and hotels in Cleveland and elsewhere. In 1986, they bought the Cleveland Indians baseball team and built the team's new stadium, now known as Jacobs Field. Barbara Jacobs is a member of the board of directors of the Indiana University Foundation and a philanthropist.
Graduates of the School of Music include violinist Joshua Bell, bassist Edgar Meyer, and soprano Sylvia McNair. Its faculty includes cellist Janos Starker and pianist Menahem Pressler. Over the last two years the school has hired pianist Andr_ Watts, violinist Jaime Laredo, and soprano Carol Vaness as faculty members.