An amazing professor can make a lasting impact, imparting lessons that resonate with students not just during their years on campus but throughout their careers as well. And, as three well-loved Ithaca College professors reach the end of their teaching careers, they are leaving an equally powerful legacy through scholarships and program funds that bear their names.
When Jamal Rossi ’80 heard that Steve Mauk was retiring and his family members were raising money to establish a scholarship in his honor, Rossi’s reaction to the news was unequivocal: “I just simply said, ‘Yes, absolutely. Count me in.’”
“I don’t think there was a lot of arm twisting,” Rossi said of the fundraising in tribute to the professor who taught saxophone at IC for 44 years. “I imagine many, many former students reacted just as I did.”
Now the dean of the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, Rossi noted that “the person with whom you will study your instrument is your teacher for four years and your mentor and friend for 40 or 50 years. That’s definitely been my relationship with Steve Mauk.”
Indeed, gifts for the Steve Mauk Endowed Scholarship for Music poured in—from professors, alumni, students, family, friends, saxophone colleagues, and other members of the Ithaca College community. Here, current and former students recall what makes these professors so special and how their awards will continue to make a difference.