During my 28 years at the Community Foundation, I’ve been honored to have met and worked with quite a few of Grand Rapids’ most noted philanthropists. Many of these individuals served as Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s Board of Trustee members and help guide the Foundation as it grew and matured.
Chuck Royce was one of our most beloved Trustees. Chuck was always kind, always positive and always focused on making Grand Rapids a better place. He and his wife Stella truly believed in the transformational power of the arts as an essential element for community strength and vibrancy. His legacy will always be connected to the arts, and especially music. His dedication to St. Cecilia Music Center and to the Grand Rapids Symphony won’t be surpassed by anyone—imagine serving seventeen years on a Board—that’s what Chuck and Stella did for the Symphony. They offered their financial support to the many arts organizations, too, and lead numerous fundraising campaigns to build up the arts institutions in our community.
I’ve been thinking about Chuck quite often over the past few months, and his connection with St. Cecilia Music Center. St. Cecila (the saint, not the center) was the patron saint of musicians and is often portrayed playing a viola or an organ. Her feast day is November 22 and she’s often celebrated with musical concerts. Grand Rapids has its patron saint of music now—Chuck Royce—and I hope you will celebrate his life and legacy when you hear live music in our community.
Rest in peace, Chuck.