University Medal awarded to former IU President Ehrlich

The University Medal is the highest award bestowed by IU.

It was created in 1982 by then-President John W. Ryan and exists to honor individuals for their noteworthy contributions to the University and achievement in arts, letters, science and law. It is the only IU medal that requires approval from the Board of Trustees, according to the release. 

“Tom Ehrlich’s leadership made a lasting mark on Indiana University,” McRobbie said in the release. “His years at IU were distinguished by a renaissance in academic programs, and energies were refocused on fundamental academic issues to the enduring benefit of students and the citizens of Indiana.”

The rededication ceremony served as the official re-opening of Alumni Hall and the adjoining Solarium. The re-opening follows a $2.5 million renovation that began in the summer of 2012, which replaced the hall’s woodwork, painted the ceiling cream and crimson, renovated the Solarium’s architecture and installed the Webb-Ehrlich Great Organ of Alumni Hall, according to the release.

In conjunction with the awarding of the University Medal, the ceremony formally named the organ, recently installed in the Indiana Memorial Union’s historic hall.
The Webb-Ehrlich Great Organ of Alumni Hall shares the naming honor with Charles H. Webb, dean emeritus of the Jacobs School of Music.

Built in 1987, the French Baroque-inspired instrument was previously located in a specially constructed concert hall at a private residence owned by the late Jacques M. Littlefield in Portola Valley, Calif, according to the release.

IU attained the 2,838-pipe instrument in the spring of 2012 through a gift arrangement with relatives of Littlefield.

Webb gave the organ’s inaugural performance at the rededication ceremony, playing several musical selections.

The organ’s public debut will take place Sept. 15-18 at a conference, “An Organ at the Crossroads,” sponsored by the Jacobs School of Music Organ Department and its alumni wing, the Indiana Organists United, according to the release.

It will feature Jacobs School of Music organ faculty Colin Andrews, Janette Fishell, David Kazimir and Christopher Young, Professor Emerita Marilyn Keiser, Webb and other guest artists.

“Tom and his wife, Ellen, were also passionate supporters of the arts at Indiana University, and so it was especially fitting to honor the Ehrlichs and their longtime friend Charles Webb and his late wife, Kenda, by naming this magnificent organ in their honor,” McRobbie said in the release.

The IU Alumni Association presented awards to five individuals noted for their service and volunteer leadership at the conference as well.

-Makenzie Holland

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