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Timothy Adams named University Professor

Alan Flurry

Two UGA faculty members have been named University Professors, a title bestowed on those who have had a significant impact on the university in addition to fulfilling their regular academic responsibilities.

The 2020-2021 honorees are Timothy Adams Jr., the Mildred Goodrum Heyward Professor in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, and James N. Moore, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, Distinguished Research Professor in the department of large animal medicine and director of educational resources in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The University Professorship recognizes individuals with outstanding records of teaching, scholarship and service whose actions as change-agents have improved the quality with which the university serves its missions:

Adams is a highly accomplished composer, recording artist and author of numerous pedagogical materials. Over the course of his 40-year career as a musician, he has worked with many of the world’s leading musicians, conductors, composers and recording artists, including Leonard Bernstein, Luciano Pavarotti, Yo-Yo Ma, Tony Bennett, James Taylor, John Denver and Linda Ronstadt.

Under his direction, the percussion studio in the Hodgson School has grown in both reputation and achievement to its current status as one of the finest such studios in the nation. His former students have an extraordinary record of success, many of whom have careers in military bands, orchestras across the United States and Asia, and on Broadway.

Adams is a passionate advocate for innovation, change and growth in all music fields and a champion for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. His current academic work includes a commission from the Erie Philharmonic in which he is composing a piece honoring the life and work of Harriet Tubman. He is also working on a collaboration called “8:46” with Grammy-winning bassist Dwayne Dolphin. This project will address social and racial injustices brought to light in the summer of 2020.

Adams is an in-demand speaker, with venues including New York University and the Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University. He also recently received the Cleveland Institute of Music Distinguished Alumni Award and was a featured speaker in their 2020 commencement ceremony.

“Tim approaches everything about music with the passion and wonderment of a new enthusiast,” legendary jazz musician Wynton Marsalis wrote in a nomination letter. “He investigates, experiments, discovers, implements and shares his findings with a missionary seriousness.”

Quite an endorsement for one of our best. Congratulations to a wonderful colleague, legendary musician and passionate, creative artist with a heart for expanding minds and consciousness. 

Image: Adams with Fred Rogers, when the former appeared on  "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" in 1999.

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