Cook Group gift puts Marching Hundred closer to new practice facility

I’ve been open with you about my past as a marching band geek, so I’ll spare you the nostalgia and just say I’m thrilled to hear Cook Group has given a half-million dollars to the IU Marching Hundred’s capital campaign for a new practice facility.

The Jacobs School of Music estimates it will need $4.5 million to construct Marching Hundred Hall. Added to last year’s $1 million gift from alumni Col. Jack I. and Dora Hamlin and other gifts, this sum brings the campaign to just over the halfway point. The man behind the gift is Carl Cook, son of the late philanthropist Bill Cook, whom many might recall as the driving force behind the beautiful renovation of the historic West Baden Springs Hotel.

The new facility will be a permanent home for the band, giving its members a place to practice under roof and store instruments. Since 1983, the group has been housed in a number of temporary rehearsal spaces.

Over the weekend, I saw the Hundred march during the halftime show of the Colts-Packers game. The people behind me loved their rendition of “Sing, Sing, Sing,” and IU men’s basketball coach Tom Crean even tweeted a photo of the band in action!

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