Belmont University announced today that Lee Zapis, president of Zapis Capital Group, and his wife Ageleke will offer the first fully funded endowed scholarship in the new Songwriting Major being offered through the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. The couple’s $25,000 gift will be used to establish an endowed fund to be known as the “Leon and Ageleke Zapis Songwriters Scholarship.” Scholarship recipients will be determined annually based on a review process by the Curb College in consultation with Belmont Student Financial Services.
Lee Zapis said, “I’ve always admired the power of a great song and the songwriters who write them. My hope is that this scholarship will help a young person fulfill their dreams of becoming a professional songwriter. I’d also like to acknowledge Roger Murrah and the Board of Directors of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation who inspired me to give this scholarship.”
Dr. Bo Thomas, Belmont’s Vice President of University Advancement, said, “This first fully endowed scholarship for Belmont’s new songwriting major adds more energy to our premier Entertainment and Music Business program. Scholarships like the Zapis scholarship will help make aspiring songwriters’ dreams come true here at Belmont in the songwriting capital of the world. We are so grateful to Lee and Ageleke.”
James Elliott, Coordinator of Belmont’s Songwriting Program, said, “We appreciate the Zapis family generously investing in the lives of aspiring songwriters at Belmont University. Our unique program in Songwriting is designed to equip our majors with the tools they need to attain success in the music industry, and this donation will provide ongoing scholarships to students in need, helping them realize their dreams of becoming professional songwriters.”
Last fall Belmont became one of the first accredited universities in the nation to offer a major in songwriting with 50 student songwriters filling the first two introductory courses to capacity. Songwriting veterans Thom Schuyler and Bob Regan have joined the Curb College faculty as adjunct instructors to teach Introduction to Songwriting, the first course offered in the new major. Housed in the historic 34 Music Square East, along with the future home of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Belmont’s songwriting program provides immense opportunities for garnering necessary skills while being surrounded by inspiration from Nashville’s top mentors in the craft.
About Lee and Ageleke Zapis
After more than 25 successful years as a radio executive, Lee Zapis joined forces with other family members to form Zapis Capital Group in 2003. He is also president of Symphony Publishing Group, a multimedia organization with leading directories, magazines, email newsletters and websites serving music educators and independent retailers of musical instruments, children’s wear and footwear. Symphony magazine titles include School Band & Orchestra, Choral Director and JazzEd. While in the broadcast industry, Lee was president of Zapis Communications, a closely held corporation that owned and operated radio stations in Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown, Ohio, as well as Atlanta and Boston. He is a member of the advisory board of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation, which honors and preserves the songwriting legacy of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (www.nashvillesongwritersfoundation.com), and a member of the board of directors of Sonicbids (www.sonicbids.com), which handles submissions for the songwriting contest sponsored by the Nashville Songwriters Association International.
Ageleke Zapis is the former owner of an Internet specialty gift boutique called Tristan & Bella and the entrepreneur behind several small boutiques in the Cleveland area specializing in handbags, scarves and accessories. Most recently, she is the author of children’s book Django Goes to School.