Skip to content

Former Pan Am executive Richard N. Barkle '43, who studied speech Pacific, established the Richard N. Barkle Endowed Scholarship before his death last summer at age 93.

  • Print
Pacific News

Brubeck Institute receives endowed scholarship gift

A $500,000 gift from Richard N. Barkle '43 will establish a scholarship fund that will support student musicians in perpetuity.
Apr 21, 2014

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.

2013-14 BIJQ
The Richard N. Barkle Endowed Scholarship will support student musicians at the Brubeck Institute

Barkle was also on the staff of Pacific Weekly, the student newspaper, and Naranjado, the yearbook. He was a member of Omega Phi Alpha and a water boy for the Pacific football team.

Barkle attended several alumni events in subsequent years, including a Brubeck birthday event, a President's Dinner and Reception honoring the Spanos family, and the university sesquicentennial celebration.

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.

About the Brubeck Institute
The Brubeck Institute was established by University of the Pacific in 2000. Its mission is to build on Dave Brubeck's legacy and his lifelong dedication to music, creativity, education, and the advancement of important social issues including civil rights, environmental concerns, international relations and social justice. The Institute maintains five programs, including the Brubeck Collection, the Brubeck Fellowship, the Brubeck Festival, Summer Jazz Colony, and the Brubeck Outreach Program. More information:

About University of the Pacific
Established in 1851 as the first university in California, University of the Pacific prepares students for professional and personal success through rigorous academics, small classes, and a supportive and engaging culture. Widely recognized as one of the most beautiful private university campuses in the West, the Stockton campus offers more than 80 undergraduate majors in arts and sciences, music, business, education, engineering and computer science, and pharmacy and health sciences. The university's distinctive Northern California footprint also includes a campus in San Francisco, which is home to the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, and the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. For more information, visit

Media contact:
Keith Michaud
209.946.3275 (Office)
209.470.3206 (Mobile)

Join University of the Pacific on: Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn Youtube