Born in St. John, Kansas, Melba Cornwell Budge graduated from the Ward-Belmont Conservatory of Music in Nashville, Tennessee and the Institute of Applied Music in New York City. Returning to her hometown of St. John, she taught piano and organ for more than 70 years. A longtime supporter of the WSU College of Fine Arts, both music and art, she also established scholarships with Kansas State University, her late husband’s alma mater, and the St. John public school district. A member of the Musician’s Club of America and the Kansas Music Teacher’s Association, she created the Melba Cornwell Budge Piano Pedagogy Endowment in 1987, which assists students, faculty, and/or instructors. Mrs. Budge passed away in 1992, but her passion for piano and music continues through her generous endowments.