Belmont University Announces $58M Lead Gift for Expansion on Music Row

Linda Curb, Mike Curb, Brittany Schaffer, Greg Jones
Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business

Belmont University Announces $58M Lead Gift for Expansion on Music Row

April 10, 2024 | by Julia Couch Copeland

Catalytic gift to fuel industry-immersive entertainment education hub 

Belmont University last night announced a $58 million lead gift from philanthropist and music industry icon Mike Curb and the Mike Curb Foundation to catalyze the expansion of its nationally renowned Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. The catalyzing gift — and largest in University history — will support renovation of existing buildings and construction of a new state-of-the-art facility on Music Row, preserving the area's rich history while providing innovative spaces for entertainment industry education and collaboration. 

"Mike Curb's remarkable generosity and partnership with Belmont over many years has been invaluable in advancing entertainment and music business education," said University President Dr. Greg Jones. "This latest transformational gift solidifies Belmont's position at the forefront of developing the next generation of music industry leaders. We are profoundly grateful to Mike and Linda for their continued investment in Belmont’s mission." 

Renderings of Belmont's Expansion on Music Row

The project will unfold in two phases. Phase one, already underway, includes renovating the historic Buddy Lee Attractions/Capitol Records building (38 Music Square East), adding 17,000 square feet of songwriting rooms, listening spaces, live sound classrooms and student lounges. The renovation will include new, updated space for Nashville’s Leadership Music offices, continuing Belmont’s and Curb College’s partnership with the organization.  

Phase two will develop a new 75,000-square-foot building behind Belmont’s existing Music Row footprint. Construction on this facility will commence over the next 24 months and will integrate all facets of the entertainment industry, including a performance venue anticipated to accommodate over 150 people, networking and gathering spaces for students and industry professionals, a coffee shop, content capture rooms and underground parking. The centerpiece project reinforces Belmont's and Mike and Linda Curb's commitment to both preserving Music Row's legacy and driving innovation for the future of Curb College, the largest free-standing college of entertainment and music business in the world.  Phase two will also require a broader fundraising campaign for the building, which the University kicked off last night. 

"As Nashville's music industry has grown and evolved into an international entertainment hub, it's crucial that our education system keeps pace to develop skilled talent," said Mike Curb. "Belmont has been a fantastic partner over the years in preparing aspiring artists, songwriters, engineers, and music business leaders who go on to become invaluable employees for record companies throughout Nashville and the industry at large. With this latest investment, we'll build upon that strong foundation to push entertainment and music business education ahead to the next level, ensuring a steady stream of well-prepared professionals for the ever-growing industry." 

The project reflects values important to Mike and Belmont: upholding the history and ethos of Music Row, while supporting innovative collaboration between industry and education.  

"For 50 years, our faculty, staff and world-class facilities have made Belmont a top destination for future music executives, engineers, artists and songwriters. Mike's partnership over decades has allowed Belmont to continually elevate our entertainment curriculum and facilities in lockstep with industry needs,” said Brittany Schaffer, dean of Belmont’s Curb College. “This lead gift allows us to deepen our integration with Music Row, creating an unprecedented immersive experience that will directly connect our students with industry leaders and opportunities while driving innovation alongside our partners in Nashville's entertainment landscape." 

To fully realize this pioneering vision, Belmont begins a fundraising campaign to secure additional support beyond the Curb family's generous $58 million lead gift. Construction details and timelines will be announced as plans progress. 


The gift and renderings were unveiled last night to an industry crowd at a reception prior to a special “Belmont at the Opry” event. The show — celebrating Belmont’s Music Business program’s 50th anniversary — featured all Belmont alumni talent including Trisha Yearwood, Tyler Hubbard, Hailey Whitters, Ian Munsick, Ashley Cooke, and songwriters Ashley Gorley, Hillary Lindsey and Nicolle Galyon. 

50 Years of Music Business Education

For 50 years, graduates of Belmont University’s Music Business program have been leading the entertainment industry and shaping culture with an unwavering spirit of innovation — and students today are continuing the tradition.

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