Honoring the Contributions of

Harold Dunn

Celebrating the life and legacy of Harold and his contributions to music education and the future successes of Church Music studies at Baylor University. 

The Impact of Giving

Baylor University and the School of Music are honored to have worked with Harold Dunn to establish the Dunn Family Endowed Fund for the Center for Christian Music Studies, gifting a stunning 100 percent of his estate to benefit the Center, its students and staff after his passing.  By using a bequest, Harold has furthered the impact of his resources far beyond what he could have tangibly given during his life. 


The Dunn Family: Service and Committment

Harold grew up in a hard-working family in Ballwin, Missouri where his parents managed the family’s small business. Harold, his sister, Helen, and parents together served regularly in the local church communities. His father served as a deacon in every church where he was a member and Helen played the organ for six different churches throughout her life. Service and hard work weren't the only things the Dunn family members had in common. They also shared a deep appreciation for music, education, ministry, and any combination of the three.

Dunn Family
Pictured left to right: Lora, Helen, William, and Harold Dunn.

To Harold, it made perfect sense to study music and education together. After earning a bachelor’s degree at Missouri State University, followed by a two-year stint in the U.S. Army’s First Guided Missile Battalion, he was on the lookout for the right place to continue his training. He soon came to Baylor and in 1954 he received his Master of Science degree in music education. Sadly, that was the same year he suffered the tragedy of losing his father. Harold soon moved with his mother and sister to St. Louis County, Mo., and remained incredibly close with both of them until their deaths years later.

A talented musician and former member of the first violin section of the Springfield, Mo. Symphony Orchestra, Harold found great satisfaction as an elementary school music teacher—a position he held for more than 30 years. Having no children of his own, he came to think of the thousands of children he taught as part of his own family.

Several years after retirement, Harold began thinking about extending his “family” once again. He wanted to make a difference in the lives of many more students, both in his family’s honor and in line with what they most deeply valued. Baylor, he found, has a place where music, education and ministry merge in a powerful way: Baylor’s Center for Christian Music Studies, an academic hub where transformational leadership in all aspects of Christian music develops on a daily basis. “I so admire the goal that Baylor has of becoming the preeminent Christian music center worldwide,” Harold said.

During his meaningful career, Harold enjoyed engaging with his students, turning their amusing statements and answers (what he called “youngsterisms”) in the classroom into several books. Harold's publications included:

  • Those Crazy Mixed-Up Kids (Signet, 1961)

  • The World According to Kids: Uninhibited Observations from the Elementary School Classroom (Spectacle Lane Press, 1964)

  • A Blizzard is When it Snows Sideways: Children's Eye Views of Science (Golden Press, 1969)

  • Our Hysterical Heritage: The American Presidential Election Process, Out of the Mouths of Babes (Stemmer House, 1980)

Additionally, Harold was published in multiple magazines and journals throughout his career and a list of these publications include:

  • Boeing Magazine
  • Boating Magazine
  • Caribbean Beachgoer
  • Educator's Advocate
  • Fine Gardening
  • Instructor
  • Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance
  • School and Community (The Missouri State Teachers Association)
  • Science Digest
  • Sforzando
  • Today's Education
  • Weekly World News
  • and many more!

Building a Legacy

When asked how he felt about making this bequest, Harold once responded: “In all my years of musical experience, I have never before come across an opportunity with such soul-stirring potential.”

Harold’s life is a song that will continue to ring true in the music and callings of countless Baylor students to come. His legacy will truly be—“soul-stirring.”