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2015 Distinguished Service Award

Samuel PellmanNo one gives a tour of The Kennedy Center for Theatre and the Studio Arts the way you do. From the trap room under the main stage to the senior art studios, you know the facility the way a parent knows a child, and you can supply a stream of insider insights. But the most powerful thing you share with visitors is your delight, as teacher and as artist, in the creative possibilities the center presents. As you’ve observed, “This building, together with the Wellin Museum, the Schambach Center, the Molly Root House and the dance facilities in Blood Fitness Center, signifies Hamilton’s commitment to providing a superb education in the arts for its students for decades to come.”

From conception to construction, you worked for more than a decade as faculty shepherd for the College’s new art facilities, including the Wellin Museum, and remained unflappable, collegial and amiable in the pursuit. As the Kennedy Center took shape, you forged partnerships among departments as they vied for prime space. You worked with your colleagues on studio and classroom designs and conveyed their needs to the architects. Maybe closest to your heart, you created a digital arts suite in which students can learn at the cutting-edge of their disciplines.

As an educator, musician and composer, you’ve inspired Hamilton students since you arrived on College Hill in 1979 with your newly minted doctor of musical arts from Cornell University. Work you’ve created with students has been presented at impressive events, including the Understanding Visual Music Conference 2013 in Buenos Aries. The Musical Heritage Society, Move Records and Innova have recorded your music. Your work has been published by the Continental Music Press and Wesleyan Music Press and was recently presented at the Society of Composers’ national conference, the International Symposium of the World For Acoustic Ecology in Australia, the Electric Rainbow Coalition Festival at Dartmouth and the Musicacoustica Festival in Beijing. Closer to home, in your role as College keyboardist, you add musical delight to campus traditions from Convocation to Commencement.

One of your former students noted that not only did you play a vital role in creating facilities for students, you “create music with students and create artists of students.” For all the benefits Hamilton has derived from your dedication and your multiple talents, the Alumni Association is pleased to present you with its Distinguished Service Award.

Citation presented by
John Hadity ’83
President, Alumni Association
April 10, 2015

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