On Saturday, May 17, 2014, Westminster Choir College of Rider University awarded bachelor’s and master’s degrees to 120 students at the Choir College’s 85th Commencement. The ceremony was held at the Princeton University Chapel and included music performed by all of Westminster’s students. Ana Magdalena Delgado Vargas MM’14 conducted the anthem of the graduating classes, “Famous,” composed by graduating senior Cortlandt Matthews ’14.
The students entered the chapel to the traditional processional composed by the late faculty member Warren Martin ’36, MM ’38 who served as head of the graduate department, musical director, conductor of the Symphonic and Westminster Choirs, head of the theory department and an outstanding teacher of an extraordinary variety of music subjects to countless Westminster students.
Carnegie Hall Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson delivered the Commencement address. Declaring that most people’s lives don’t follow the path they expect when they graduate from college, he said, “Make sure that every single thing you do in life matters or don’t bother doing it. Follow what you love the most. I couldn’t imagine a better life than a life in music.’”
Dr. Amanda Quist delivered the Charge to the Graduating Classes, urging the graduates to “go forward in the knowledge that you are loved by this community, this family, and your love in turn has made it stronger, and that has made all the difference.” Dr. Quist also received the Rider University Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Honorary doctorates were awarded to Gillinson and Joseph Flummerfelt, Westminster’s conductor laureate. President Mordechai Rozanski honored Dean Robert L. Annis, noting that this was his last Westminster Commencement before his retirement in December. Provost DonnaJean Fredeen presented Annis with a framed commemorative score of the Lutkin Benediction on behalf of the Westminster and Rider