"Opera at CSU moved us. For more than twenty years, we attended performances, voice recitals, faculty recitals and other events. Neither of us were opera "buffs" - lacking knowledge about the intricacies of opera. But, ahh - the voices - so pure as to transport us to another plane and level of emotion. We watched and listened, over those years, as CSU exponentially improved its voice program, attracting higher quality students and faculty. Becoming acquainted with faculty was a distinct honor for us.
ln 2019, Karen was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia - a rapidly progressing and ultimately fatal disease. I asked. Tiffany Blake if she would sing at Karen's memorial service and, without hesitation, she agreed. Her voice profoundly affected everyone present - the piece de resistance of Karen's memorial.
And so, to honor my late wife, the efforts of CSU's voice faculty, and students who strive and wish to move people with their voices, I decided to establish the Karen M. and John F. Nystrom scholarship. I hope that this endowment may encourage students to use their gift of voice to transport listeners to higher, emotionally meaningful levels of awareness in their lives."