Dean's Greetings - Spring 2017

Dean Betty Anne YounkerStrengthening Tradition - Igniting Innovation

On behalf of the Don Wright Faculty of Music, greetings! Your stories and successes continue to serve as examples of what a degree from the Don Wright Faculty of Music can afford as choices are offered and made. As well, comments made by those who have hired you, heard you, or know of you reminds us of the impact each of you makes in multiple ways across communities.

The multiple artists and scholars who engage our students in thinking about, creating and re-creating music provide further insights into our art form. These are made possible through Gift Fund, Provost support, and donor support. We celebrate students’ accomplishments as they make public what they have achieved through performances in front of growing numbers of audience members. I continually hear comments from audience members about the quality of those performances and overall presence of our students on stage. I also am reminded about the value added having a Faculty of Music on campus and in London as I speak with audience members after faculty and guest artists’ performances.

We continue to experience demographics and with that come retirements. This spring we celebrated the work of Kim Lundberg (Music Research and Composition) and Paul Poppy (Piano Technology). Kim has been with the Faculty since 1986 first as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and then faculty member. Paul joined in 1983. We thank them for their value of community and for their dedication to the work of the Faculty. I look forward to hearing of their accomplishments as they continue to be active in their fields.

With Kim Malcolm’s departure, who was with us from 2013, to join King’s College as Manager of Development, we embarked on a search and I am pleased to introduce you to Karmen Ferraro as our new Alumni and Development Officer. Karmen received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Western and a diploma in Broadcast Journalism from Fanshawe College. She has been at Western since 1999 serving in a variety of capacities across Communications and External. Her experiences here at Western will be most valuable as we continue to expand our alumni base and donor support.

We continue to be in construction. Phase two began in March [view photos] and consists of taking down the part of the Music Building that was not renovated and finishing spaces of the new building that were attached to the old. Currently we have 15 named spaces; the most recent ones include one for Don McKellar, Clifford Poole and Margaret Parsons, and Earle Terry. Do go to our renovations webpage to learn more and click on the Donate button, as well as the video “A Gift for Music.” Do think about how you can be part of this project, whether it is a one-time gift or a monthly contribution over a period of time. Many thanks to the donors who have already pledged their generous support.

I so enjoy hearing from you about your Western experiences, ones that reflect the level of community that is cultivated within and across the various cohorts, and the level of support from faculty and staff members that you experienced. The word community reflects people of common passions, who inhabit common spaces, and reflect a strong sense of kinship. It is something that grows long and strong roots, and remains with you for years to come. It was here that you began your networking within the field and across fields.

Do join us for Homecoming Weekend October 20-22; sing in the choir and/or play in the band. For more information and to register, visit:

Betty Anne (Younker)
Dean, Don Wright Faculty of Music
Professor of Music Education

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