Established in 2008, the Dean’s Medal recognizes extraordinary service, philanthropy, and leadership to the School, and dedication and commitment that inspire others to take leadership roles at the University. Individuals, families, associations, corporations, or foundations may be recognized. It is among the highest honors given by the School.
For more than 40 years, Ray Ricker has poured his heart and soul into the Eastman School of Music. As our first professor of saxophone, he has educated musicians who comprise a virtual who’s who in the saxophone world. Not only does he seek to build students’ skills and artistry, he is also passionate about sharing the secrets of turning a love for music into a thriving career. To this end, he has shaped our Institute for Music Leadership and Center for Music Innovation, both of which are signature programs that set Eastman apart from its peers. He is a sought-after performer, composer, arranger, and author whose music has been heard and played around the world. Deeply devoted to maintaining the highest standards for the Eastman School, Ray and his wife, Judith, have made provisions to endow not one but two professorships, for classical and jazz saxophone, as well as a scholarship for saxophone students. Their generosity will ensure that future generations of the most promising young musicians receive the same world-class education and opportunities that Ray has provided for so long. Truly, Ray Ricker’s legacy will live on at the Eastman School of Music for generations to come, and it is with deep respect and heartfelt gratitude that this honor is bestowed.