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Classmate donates $500,000 to Brubeck Institute

It’s always good news to hear someone is investing half a million dollars into Northern California jazz.

A contemporary of Dave and Iola Brubeck who gained his own success as the vice president of public relations for Pan American World Airways has given University of the Pacific a $500,000 gift that will enable talented musicians for generations to study at the Brubeck Institute.
Richard N. Barkle, who studied speech at then-College of the Pacific and graduated in 1943, established the Richard N. Barkle Endowed Scholarship before his death last summer at age 93. The gift will be invested as an endowment that will provide $20,000 each year in perpetuity to support student musicians at the Brubeck Institute.
"I can't begin to tell you how very important this is to the Brubeck Institute and future students," said Simon Rowe, executive director of the Brubeck Institute. "This endowment means so many young musicians over the years will be able to receive a world-class music education here."
A Pacific Grove native, Barkle attended College of the Pacific — later University of the Pacific — at the same time as Dave and Iola Brubeck. Barkle was part of "Friday Frolics," the hour-long variety show broadcast from a radio studio on Pacific's campus. Iola Brubeck - then Iola Whitlock - produced the show and Dave Brubeck played music for it.
At Pan Am, Barkle's responsibilities brought him into frequent contact with dignitaries, celebrities and other VIPs during the airline's "golden years." 
Barkle was credited originating an idea that may have set the bar for product placement, according to a story on the website for Air Cargo News, an industry publication for air freighters. The story reported that Barkle suggested The Beatles fly Pan Am on the band's inaugural visit to the United States in 1964 and that the Fab Four's first interview in this country take place with a Pan Am logo in the background.

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