Sometimes an endowment is really a love letter.
Harold Rothman established the Barbara Rothman Orchestra Endowed Scholarship as a tender token of his love for his late wife Barbara, who passed away in late 2015.
“I want to keep her name alive as much as I can," he said. "I didn’t want just a plaque on a hospital wall. I want whoever receives this scholarship to be happy and to remember my wife’s name.”
Rothman, a spry 91, wanted to create a tribute that was enduring, life-changing and maybe just a little unexpected, not unlike the Rothman’s romance.
“We were like teenagers,” he said. “But we were not young people when we married. I was 62. She was 58, both of us grandparents, both of us widowed. We were married just short of 25 years. I will never get over her. She was the love of my life.”
Mrs. Rothman was wild for the arts—theater, opera, ballet, symphony. Mr. Rothman was her indulgent date, delighted to see her dress up, pleased to escort her every Wednesday to the latest show in New York. When they sold their place in the city about five years ago and moved permanently to Boynton Beach, Mrs. Rothman lost none of her enthusiasm for the arts. She supported the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and the Broward Center, but particularly loved the Lynn Conservatory of Music’s Philharmonia.
“Even when she was sick, she always made plans to attend a performance," said Susan Nattis, Mr. Rothman’s daughter. "It was that important, that essential to her. She loved the arts.” The endowed scholarship in Mrs. Rothman’s name will provide financial assistance to deserving conservatory students in perpetuity.
“I want to know that students’ lives will be made easier and that they will have my wife to thank. I want them to say her name, to read her name on their scholarship so she is never forgotten.”