Dr. Robert A. Nicholson, AU alumnus and president emeritus, has been selected to receive the 2003 “Outstanding Music Alumni Award” from the AU Department of Music. Nicholson was chosen by the music faculty for his significant contributions to music within the university and the Anderson community. Nicholson has been involved in education throughout most of his life, through the roles of professor, chair, dean and then president of Anderson University.
After graduating from AU, Nicholson received an offer to teach music at his college alma mater. In 1945, after a year of graduate work at New York University, Nicholson returned to AU as a professor. He taught music theory and private voice, led musical groups, founded the Anderson College Choir, now the internationally known Anderson University Chorale, and was instrumental in establishing the Anderson Symphony Orchestra. Nicholson also edited two editions of the Hymnal of the Church of God and served as music director for the radio broadcast known as the Christian Brotherhood Hour. Nicholson was inaugurated as the third president of Anderson University in 1983. The Robert A. Nicholson University Library was named in his honor in 1992.
Nicholson often partnered with his wife, Dorothy to accomplish work both inside and outside the university. The Nicholson’s taught a Sunday school class together at Park Place Church of God, and led the first AU Tri-S trip to Japan. When Nicholson assumed the role of university president, Dr. and Mrs. Nicholson often invited students into their home. They also took their role as liaison between community and university very seriously and invited members of the community into their home and to campus events. Although Nicholson retired in 1990, he still remains active in the community through his assistance to non-profit groups.
Dr. Jeffrey Wright, Dean of the College of the Arts at AU said, “The music department as well as the entire university is greatly indebted to Dr. Nicholson. He has contributed immensely to the strong quality of the AU choral program, and the high caliber of students we are privileged to have in the music department each year. We are honored by his continued support of the music program and the university.”
Nicholson will be awarded the 2003 “Outstanding Music Alumni Award” by the Music Department during the Homecoming Concert on Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Park Place Church of God on the AU campus. The concert will feature the Anderson University Chorale, directed by Dr. Richard Sowers, the Women’s Chorus, directed by Professor Joani Brandon, and a reunion choir of Chorale and Music Department alumni.
More information about Homecoming 2003 activities at Anderson University is available online at www.anderson.edu/alumni/homecoming or by calling 765-641-4100.
Anderson University is a private, four-year, Christian liberal arts institution of approximately 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs of study in business, education and theology.