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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Remarks at Carnegie Hall Welcome

Category: Regional
October, 2018
Stern Auditorium/ Perelman Stage
Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Good evening. I would like to welcome all of you to the inaugural performance of the Rensselaer Orchestra at Carnegie Hall—an historic event for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a momentous occasion for our student performers, their family members, classmates, friends, and distinguished members of the Rensselaer community.

Earlier this evening, we hosted a special gala reception and dinner to honor highly accomplished and philanthropic alumni and alumnae, and corporate and institutional partners. Their generous support of Rensselaer is enabling deserving students to receive a top-tier education, taught by world-class faculty who are working together to address some of the world’s greatest challenges and opportunities.

I would like to thank:

  • Our Dinner Sponsor:
    • IBM
  • Our Bridging the Gap Circle Sponsors:
    • The Boeing Company;
    • United Airlines; and
    • Sodexo; and
  • Our Corporate Underwriter:
    • KeyBanc Capital Markets

I also would like to thank Rensselaer Trustee Jeffrey L. Kodosky of the Class of 1970, and his wife Gail, who established the Kodosky Foundation Fund for Classical Music, which has provided thousands of tickets to classical music performances for Rensselaer students, faculty, and staff.

In fact, this evening, more than 50 students from the Rensselaer campus are here tonight to enjoy this debut performance by their classmates as a result of the fund.

Tonight, we celebrate the launch of our new Bachelor of Science in Music degree program, which focuses on educating musicians for careers in creative professions by combining depth in music with breadth in the sciences, media, and engineering—preparing them for the multiplicity of roles available to musicians in the 21st century—including interactive arts, social music networks, and music production for media such as video and film.

The degree is offered as a single disciplinary major, but also is designed to effectively pair as a dual major with the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines, also known as STEM, as a means of preparing today’s contemporary musician for fluency in the arts as well as the sciences.

At Rensselaer, we attract students who are exceptionally talented in music and the arts, as well as in STEM, and who are keenly interested in combining these passions.

We long have recognized the degree to which the arts can spark innovation in other domains—and the value of connecting the arts, science, and technology.

That is why we ensure that every student is exposed to artistic concepts as a spur to creativity in any of their chosen fields of study. We call this Art_X, a teaching and research initiative designed to help all Rensselaer students discover the art—in and of science—and the science—in and of art.

Our new Bachelor of Science in Music will enable us to further incorporate the arts throughout our research, curriculum, and student life experience, bringing together Rensselaer artists, scientists, engineers, architects, and emerging business leaders in engaging new ways, and challenging them to gain new ideas from one another.

Such collaborations are at the heart of our vision for The New Polytechnic, where Rensselaer serves as a great crossroads for education and research across disciplines, sectors, cultures, geographies, and generations.

Working together, utilizing the most advanced tools and technologies, we empower Rensselaer to be transformative in our innovative approach to pedagogy, in the global impact of our research, and in the lives of our students.

The theme of our musical program this evening also is about transformation, and celebrates the works of two innovative, and inspired composers—Missy Mazzoli and Jean Sibelius.

And now, it is my pleasure to present to you Maestro Nicholas DeMaison and the Rensselaer Orchestra!