2011 Faculty Award for Service

David Glenn, professor of music, conducts a jazz ensemble during an outdoor performance.

Over the past two decades David Glenn, professor of music, has shared with alumni his passion for jazz, through Summer College "jazz laboratories," Sun Valley Jazz Festival lectures and, most recently, a talk about his baseball-inspired-jazz CD "National Pastime," which hit a home run with alumni who attended the Mariners spring training with him in 2010.

For his ongoing efforts to connect with alumni and get them jazzed about lifelong learning and Whitman, the Alumni Association has awarded him the 2011 Faculty Award for Service.

"I don't quite feel like I deserve the award yet," said Glenn, who currently is teaching his final semester at Whitman. "I will try to earn it over the next few months." For starters, he is already at work on a jazz ensemble weekend he and the alumni office are organizing April 7-9 (See sidebar).

Jazz Ensemble Weekend and Concert April 7-9, 2011

Activities include a social and jam session, a buffet lunch with speaker David Glenn, a group photo, the Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert and a post-concert party at the home of David Glenn and Laura Curtis.

To see who has signed up to attend and make your reservations, see the Alumni Events Calendar.

"I should have done this a long time ago," said Glenn, who returned from the spring training trip motivated to bring jazz ensemble alumni back to campus after visiting with a former lead trombonist, Brian Krouse '97.

"Seeing Brian and realizing how well he is doing and how great it was to catch up with him reminded me how I really want to do that with any number of other former jazz students.

"I wanted to bring back jazz ensemble alumni because they're the ones who really built up the program," said Glenn. He's especially proud to show those who have been through the program what a "terrific band we have this year."

Some of Glenn's reticence to take credit for his alumni efforts springs from the personal enjoyment he has derived from these experiences, especially getting to know and forming relationships with alumni who attended Whitman before his time during his six Sun Valley Jazz Festival trips.

"One of the things that comes out immediately is how much alumni really love Whitman College," he said. "You can just tell how much they love the place, and they rekindle that spirit in me, too. I have really loved working here; it's a great gig.

"Another thing that strikes me is how interested alumni are in what's going on now. They really want to know about what the jazz program is like and what classes I'm teaching. They love going to class and being taught by a Whitman professor."

As he looks toward his future, he expects that he will continue to draw inspiration from these alumni.

"It's going to be really important for me and what I intend to do — teach myself — that I keep that lifelong learning flame alive."

— Lana Brown

For a story about Glenn's career at Whitman, see Student: Glenn is our biggest fan and supports us in our musical growth.