DeForest A. “Forey” Hamilton, III, of Colorado Springs, Colo., has donated an antique Mason and Hamlin grand piano to Shorter University.
The piano belonged to Mr. Hamilton’s father, the late DeForest A. Hamilton, Jr., and he had inherited it from his parents, DeForest A. Hamilton, Sr., and Nelda Haehnke Hamilton. The Hamiltons received the piano as a wedding gift circa 1923.
Mr. Hamilton’s family is descended from the niece of Shorter University benefactors Col. Alfred Shorter and Mrs. Martha Shorter. Mrs. Shorter’s niece, Martha Harper Hamilton, inherited the Shorters’ home, Thornwood, with her husband, D.E.B. Hamilton. The Hamilton family owned the property until 1944, and Forey Hamilton’s grandfather is believed to have been born at Thornwood.
“We are grateful for this generous gift from Mr. Hamilton and the connection to the Shorter family that it represents,” said Shorter University President Dr. Don Dowless. “The Mason and Hamlin grand piano, built circa 1923, is a beautiful instrument that has been in the care of one family throughout its lifetime.”
Dr. Alan Wingard, dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Shorter University, added, “Mr. Hamilton also sent us a collection of sheet music that had belonged to his grandmother, whom he said was a masterful pianist. Many of the pieces have ‘Nelda,’ the name of his grandmother, written on the covers in pencil. The Mason and Hamlin piano has travelled from Illinois to Florida, to Texas, then to Lancaster, Pa., to Rome, to Bluffton, S.C., and now back to Rome. It is a wonderful addition to our campus.”
In a letter accompanying the donation, Forey Hamilton wrote, “Please accept this Mason and Hamlin piano on behalf of my father, my grandfather and grandmother. …May it continue to bring joy and happiness to those who play it and to those who listen to it. I am pleased to gift this musical blessing to Shorter University.”
Founded in 1873, Shorter University is a Christ-centered, four-year liberal arts university committed to excellence in education. The Princeton Review annually includes Shorter on its list of best Southeastern Colleges. Shorter is a member of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). The university offers traditional bachelor’s degrees in 40 areas of study, online courses and degree programs, undergraduate programs for working adults, and four master’s programs. Learn more about Shorter at www.shorter.edu.