Indiana University

Endowments & Scholarships

The Ben Nathanson Music Scholarship

Ben Nathanson, who turns 90 on April 21, 2005, loves Indiana University, making music and his college fraternity. While at IU, Ben played clarinet, saxophone and violin. He was in the Band and also played in a dance band for college functions. He was president of Phi Beta Delta (which later became Pi Lamda Phi). Today, not having an instrument handy, he whistles beautifully all the old favorites from Stardust to Side by Side

After graduating from IU in business in 1936, Ben married Marian Segal. Their son Charles Edward (Chuck) was born in 1941. Ben supported his young family with a daring venture. Starting from a humble operation in the back seat of his car, he grew a network of community shopping newspapers into a thriving enterprise. Ben wrote a weekly column in his papers and took on issues not usually confronted in such a venue: school integration and busing, the Vietnam War and the birth of his only grandchild, Sara Paulina Nathanson, in 1973. Ben sold the paper eventually, but has never really retired. He became licensed as both a stockbroker and insurance agent and still takes a hand in advising clients. He has also suffered tragic losses in his life. Marian died in 1997 and his only son, Chuck, died in 2003 of a rare tumor. Ben is cherished by many friends and, in particular, three loving ladies: his daughter-in-law, Laura Walther Nathanson, MD; his granddaughter, Sara Paulina Nathanson, Esq., and his dear friend Ethel Marx, who helps Ben stay young and chipper and lets him win at Michigan 500 every now and then.

The Ben Nathanson Scholarship is awarded to students at the Indiana University School of Music who study clarinet.