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$5 Million Gift to Oberlin for Jazz May Be Largest Ever

A $5 million gift to Oberlin College by a Cleveland couple may be the largest gift ever given specifically to support jazz education at a U.S. college. The gift by businessman Stewart Kohl and his wife, Donna, was announced last month by Oberlin College President Nancy Dye. Stewart is a 1977 graduate of the university and is a managing partner of equity firm the Riverside Company.

The donation will be used to construct a new facility for the jazz studies program, which, when completed, will be dedicated to the memory of Phyllis Litoff. She and her husband were longtime friends of Kohl and opened the Sweet Basil Jazz Club in Greenwich Village and founded the Greenwich Village Jazz Festival.

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