MACON – Atlanta-area philanthropist Carol Lynn Eden has pledged at least $2.5 million to endow scholarships in memory of her late father, Ralph Moseley Eden, a 1927 graduate of Mercer Law School, to benefit students in the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings in the Townsend School of Music at Mercer University.
In addition to the endowment pledge, Eden has established a $50,000 per year expendable scholarship fund for McDuffie Center students.
Founder of the McDuffie Center Robert McDuffie noted, “I am overwhelmed by Lynn Eden’s remarkable pledge to our Center and Mercer. These new scholarships will help to attract the world’s finest young artists to come to Macon and realize their potential, while also learning to become citizen artists in an ever-changing 21st century landscape. A heartfelt thank you to an exceptional philanthropist, Lynn Eden.”
Recipients of the scholarship will be designated as Eden Scholars and contribute at least 15 hours of community outreach while pursuing his or her music education at Mercer.
Ralph Moseley Eden was born in Macon on July 14, 1903. He was the youngest of the six children of Clarence A. and Leila Eden. Eden attended primary and high school in the Macon area before enrolling at Mercer, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He graduated in June 1927 with a Bachelor of Laws degree, was admitted to the Georgia State Bar, and went on to pursue a career in the insurance industry, using his legal background as a claims adjustor. Eden married Anita Turk and raised a family, first in Baltimore; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, before being transferred to Atlanta, where he remained for the rest of his life.
Although he did not play an instrument, he loved classical music and had an extensive record collection of classical recordings, both instrumental and opera. He would listen to the Metropolitan Opera on the radio on Saturday afternoons, and when television programming came along, he would watch the Voice of Firestone every week. He instilled in his three children, Ralph Jr., Polly and Lynn, a love of classical music, and indeed all three played in school bands in addition to piano at home.
One of his favorite pieces was “Méditation” from Thaïs. He was proud of his association with Mercer, and combined with his love of music, this scholarship is being established in his name by his daughter.