Mary Hayes North, a member of the class of 1927, made a bequest to the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance to express her deep appreciation to Ithaca College for the instruction and scholarship she received here. She provided an endowment in her will to establish the Mary Hayes North Award to be given to a senior piano major, who, after a recital competition, has been judged to be the worthiest recipient.

Mary Hayes North was born and raised in Newcomerstown, Ohio; her younger brother became the famous football coach, Woody Hayes, at Ohio State. She studied acting and classical piano at Ithaca and was cast almost immediately upon graduation as George Jessel’s female lead on Broadway because she could act and play the piano at the same time. She later served as house mother, first at Ithaca College in its old location with dorms up and down Buffalo Street and later at Cornell.


  • 2003: Kawai Chan
  • 2004: Joseph Pepper
  • 2005: Topher Ruggiero
  • 2006: Peter Cirka
  • 2007: Kristin Collom
  • 2008: Robert Kaiser
  • 2009: Angela DiIorio
  • 2010: Brendon Shapiro
  • 2011: Scott Gentile
  • 2012: Michael Gaertner
  • 2013: Sean Cotty
  • 2014: Shiori Yamaguchi
  • 2015: Sean Nimmo