Gene Teeter Continues to Support the Music Program
Open Windows Campaign Passes 90 Percent Mark of the $35.25 Million Goal
When the Alma College Choir toured Florida during last Winter Break, many of the students wore “Teeter Tour” t-shirts in appreciation of the generosity of the lovable gentleman who helped make their tour possible.
Gene Teeter, with a song in his heart and a twinkle in his eye, has proven to be a regular contributor to Alma College with annual gifts that support scholarships, the choir and music department.
Gene Teeter addesses students and alumni at the homecoming concert.
“I support the music program because I can see the results when
I go to their concerts,” says Teeter, who considers himself a member of
the class of 1950 even though he attended only one year at Alma.
“Even though I’m a graduate of Northwestern, I feel something in my heart for the kids at Alma College,” he says. “I’m still in love with Alma College.”
Born, raised and educated in Mount Carroll, Ill., Teeter went into the service in 1943 following his high school graduation. His dad sent his tenor saxophone, and he played at his Army base in the officer’s club, “which kept me out of KP duty,” he chuckles.
After he returned from the service, family friend and Alma College music director Eugene Grove contacted his parents about Gene coming up to Alma for a tour of the campus.
“I fell in love with the College and spent my first year there,” he says. “I sang in the a cappella choir and sang solos on WJR radio. Then dad wanted me to go into financing, so I transferred to Northwestern.”
Following graduation he owned a heating and air conditioning business in Chicago, then went back to Mount Carroll where he worked for 25 years as a banker.
But he never forgot his Alma College experience. He returned in 1993 to sing with the alumni choir and students and then returned several more times.
“After a few trips back to campus, I could see the music department could benefit from a gift to help the choir go out and perform, primarily in Presbyterian Churches,” he says.
Teeter was back on campus for this year’s homecoming relishing the parade, reminiscing with other alumni and enjoying the choir concert, where some of the students surprised him by wearing their “Teeter Tour” t-shirts. He presented two $10,000 gifts on homecoming Saturday, one for general use by the music department and the other for choir travel.
“Mr. Teeter’s impact on the choir has been marvelous,” says Will Nichols, choir director. “Our students work hard and care a great deal about the choir and College. Mr. Teeter loves what we do and makes it possible for our students to have the best experience. Two years ago he wrote the check that allowed us to buy the airline ticket for the choir to fly to Florida and sing during our Winter Break last February.”
Teeter continues to contribute to many causes in addition to Alma College, particularly in his home community of Mount Carroll. A Rotarian, he supports local high school graduating seniors who qualify for the Gene and Betty Teeter Rotarian Scholarship. He also has supported the local library, playhouse and other causes. Betty, his wife of 59 years, died in 2006.
Considered retired by some, Teeter still works as an occasional financial advisor and for the Vernon Company selling corporate gifts in the specialty advertising business.
Teeter’s gifts to Alma College support the Open Windows Campaign, which seeks to further strengthen the foundation of the Alma Experience for current and future students. As of Sept. 30, the Campaign has achieved 90.5 percent of the $35.25 million fund-raising goal.
Posted: Fri, October 17th, 2008 at 9:30AM