May 14, 2018

More Information:
For Media Only: Jessica A. Kaufman (585-274-1057, jkaufman@esm.rochester.edu)

The annual commencement for Eastman School of Music bachelor’s and master’s degree students will take place on Sunday, May 20, with National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu giving the commencement speech as well as receiving the Luminary Award.

The Sunday ceremony, which starts at 11:15 a.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, is for students receiving their Bachelor of Music, Master of Arts, and Master of Music degree. The ceremony for students receiving a Doctor of Musical Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degree will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 19, in Kodak Hall. Approximately 240 candidates will receive their undergraduate, graduate, and Doctoral degrees during the School’s 93rd annual commencement.

Jane Chu is the eleventh chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. With a background in arts administration and philanthropy, Chairman Chu is also an accomplished artist and musician. She leads a dedicated and passionate group of people to support and fund the arts and creative activities in communities across the nation. During her tenure to date, Chu has awarded more than $409 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and artists; issued new research reports on arts participation and the impact of the arts and cultural industries on the nation’s gross domestic product; has made it to all 50 states, visiting hundreds of communities across the nation to see first-hand how the arts are impacting people and places; and launched the United States of Arts project that demonstrates the importance of the arts in our communities and our lives. In 2015, Chairman Chu launched her signature leadership initiative, Creativity Connects, to investigate the current state of the arts in our nation and explore how the arts connect with other industries. She also oversaw multiple-year increases to the NEA’s Congressional budget appropriation to expand its military healing arts initiative, Creative Forces. In addition, under Chu’s leadership, the NEA ranked first among small agencies in Best Places to Work in the Federal Government for 2016.

Chu was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and raised in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, the daughter of Chinese immigrants. She studied music growing up, eventually receiving bachelor’s degrees in piano performance and music education, as well as master’s degrees in music and piano pedagogy, a PhD in philanthropic studies, an MBA, as well as three honorary degrees. Prior to coming to the NEA, Chu served as the president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri.

In commemorating her commitment to American art and artists, and her work in encouraging Americans to engage in artistic experience and artistic creation, the Eastman School of Music proudly presents Jane Chu with the Eastman Luminary Award. The Luminary Award is given by the Eastman School of Music to individuals who have given extraordinary service to music and the arts at the community and national level. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter was presented with the first Eastman Luminary Award in 2006.

LIVE STREAM CLICK HERE: https://www.esm.rochester.edu/live/

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About Eastman School of Music:

The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training. The current dean is Jamal Rossi, appointed in 2014.

About 900 students are enrolled in Eastman’s Collegiate Division—about 500 undergraduate and 400 graduate students. Students come from almost every state, and approximately 20 percent are from other countries. They are guided by more than 95 full-time faculty members. Six alumni and three faculty members have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music, as have numerous GRAMMYÒ Awards. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 700 concerts to the Rochester community.


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