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UC loses a generous, yet modest, benefactor in Louise Nippert

Louise Nippert at a CCM event in 2001

Louise Nippert at a CCM event in 2001

Louise Dieterle Nippert, a most devoted University of Cincinnati patron, fan, volunteer and alumna, passed away on July 23, 2012, at age 100. In 1934, she graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in French, and in 1967, her alma mater honored her with an Honorary Doctor of Humanities. She was a member of the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) Advisory Board and had been an honorary member of the University of Cincinnati Foundation Board of Trustees since 1988.

She and her husband, Louis "Gus" Nippert, A&S '28, JD '28. HonDoc '71, had generously supported various programs and funds spanning numerous colleges and units at UC before he passed away in 1992. Their generosity has transformed countless lives throughout the university.

But Louise was a well trained vocalist who had sang a solo with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, hence her No. 1 love was music, and her generous philanthropic heart was always drawn to CCM.

Specific gifts at UC included funding for the 1995 renovation of the former Schmidlapp Gymnasium into the Dieterle Vocal Arts Center (named in honor of her parents), scholarships and the endowment of the Dieterle Chair of Music, the Thomas James Kelly Chair (CCM’s first endowed chair), the Nippert Chair of Law and the Frank Mayfield Endowed Chair for Neurosurgery.

Interestingly enough, the vocal arts center contains a grand-opera-scale rehearsal hall featuring an enormous window that overlooks Nippert Stadium, named for Louis’ older brother James “Jimmy” Gamble Nippert. Jimmy was a law student who died from blood poisoning after suffering a spike wound during the 1923 Homecoming football game. Jimmy and Louis’ grandfather, James Gamble, of Procter and Gamble, funded the completion of the stadium in 1924.

“Mrs. Nippert was a generous benefactor to the University of Cincinnati,” says UC President Gregory Williams. “Much of her generosity was anonymous, so there are many students and faculty who do not understand how much she has benefited them. She was a great friend of the university for many years, and her affection and her presence always meant a great deal to us.”

“There are very few people who embody the spirit of UC like Mrs. Nippert,” adds Steve Wilson, UC’s interim vice president for Development and Alumni Relations. “Her gifts to CCM allowed the university to bring our facilities in line with our ambitions and helped set the stage for CCM’s growth and continued recognition as one of the best conservatories in the world.”

CCM dean Peter Landgren notes, “Her selfless gestures will forever transform the lives of all of us who knew Mrs. Nippert and have been touched by her kindness and generosity. We will miss her presence at performances and other events on our campus."