Soundings, Volume 9, Number 1, Spring 2008

Ostrander to Retire after 23 Years as Dean

Arthur Ostrander has announced he will step down as dean at the end of the 2007–8 academic year after having served the School of Music for 37 years on the faculty, 23 of those as dean. He will be on sabbatical leave in 2008–9 and will retire at the end of that academic year.

“Art has provided extraordinary leadership to the School of Music over the years, as well as to Ithaca College in the broadest sense,” said President Peggy Williams. “We will miss him.” A reception to honor Dean Ostrander will be held in the McHenry Lobby of the Whalen Center for Music on Friday, May 2, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. All alumni are invited to attend the reception. Additionally, a memory book will be compiled for the dean, and alumni are invited to contribute letters to honor his service. They may be submitted to kwestmiller@ithaca.edu or to the attention of Karen Westmiller, Whalen Center for Music, Ithaca College, 953 Danby Road, Ithaca, NY 14850. Please submit them by Friday, April 25.

From the Dean’s Desk

It is hard for me to believe that this will be my final opportunity to share with you information about our school in our yearly newsletter. I plan to retire from the College after a total of 37 years on the faculty and 23 years serving as the dean. When I arrived as a music theory faculty member in 1971, the music building and the “new” South Hill campus were only six years old. Those first 14 years I spent in the music theory classroom were special times, where I formed friendships that extend to this day. What a joy it has been for me to continue to develop the reputation of the music program through these years, as the College has grown in stature as well. I love working with each new generation of students who arrive on campus, and I love the supportive atmosphere that the faculty has created here as we help nurture the teaching and performing careers of our students. Nearly 80 percent of today’s full-time faculty came to the school while I served as dean, and they are extraordinary musicians who realize they are teaching at a special school that places teaching excellence first. Our graduates have taken their places in the profession and excelled in every way. How proud I am to be an integral part of our school!

Our national reputation increased substantially as we completed the addition to the building in 1999, creating the Whalen Center for Music. Each day as I enter this special space, I am reminded that the School of Music is now housed in a building worthy of our faculty, students, and the wonderful music that is created here. Transitions are a time to look to the future, and I am confident that the School of Music is poised to continue to be a national leader among the highest quality music programs devoted primarily to undergraduates.

Let me close by thanking our graduates who have given back to the school in so many ways, including sending your best students to us. Your financial support and advocacy have allowed us to continue the proud tradition we all share here at Ithaca.

Much more about Art Ostrander’s career will be featured in an upcoming edition of IC View.

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