The formal installation of President Raymond Tymas-Jones PhD turned into a joyous event attended by friends and family of the President as well as the students, faculty, and staff of Cornish College of the Arts.
Serving as the president of Cornish College of the Arts since July, Dr. Raymond Tymas-Jones was formally installed today (October 5) during a ceremony at the Moore Theatre in downtown Seattle. The college campus was closed for the morning to allow students, faculty, and staff to attend the event along with the Board of Trustees, members of the community, and distinguished guests and friends of the President. Filling up three rows of the theater was the extended family of President Tymas-Jones, who acknowledged their presence during his remarks, speaking movingly about their unconditional love and unwavering support.
“Very early on in my life, music became the vehicle of personal awareness, as well as a greater sense of being connected with my family and community,” said President Tymas-Jones. “I have the good fortune of being the product of parents who instilled in all of their children an appreciation of music and the arts, a love of community, strong personal values, and a belief that in order to have a fulfilling life, being in service to something larger than oneself is essential.”
It was that background, he said, that led him to “to becoming the first generation college graduate in my family, and consequently pursue a career in the arts grounded in music.”
Today, President Tymas-Jones hopes to extend the same support to those who come to Cornish College of the Arts and to the community at large. “My journey called for chronic assessing and reassessing goals with reimagining and reinventing my raison d’être. This led to a moment in time when I consciously decided the focus of my professional career would be to be in service to advancing and creating educational opportunities for anyone who recognized their own insatiable desire to be and live as an artist.”
A long-time friend and colleague, Richard Durst, the president emeritus of Baldwin Wallace University, gave the inauguration address. “Great presidents recognize that working with others expands the reach and, more importantly, the effectiveness of each of those areas of work. You have hired just such an individual who has shown he is adept at facilitating group endeavors. His skill resides in leading groups of people in the exploration of new ideas. You have to look no further than the Interdisciplinary Arts in Technology and the Create CONNECTIONS projects at the University of Utah to see superb examples of those collaborations,” said Durst.
During her presentation of the Presidential Medal to President Tymas-Jones, Chair of Board Lonnie Rosenwald said “As a performer, a professor, and a dean, Dr. Raymond Tymas-Jones has a rich, and broad, academic and artistic history making him our unanimous choice to lead Cornish during this time of growth and to increase the College’s impact in the greater community.”
With President Tymas-Jones, “we will venture to new vistas and engage our city, our world, in ways we have yet to imagine. In him, we have an artist and scholar of intellectual seriousness; a principled, compassionate educator; an inspired and inspiring leader,” said Provost Star Hang Nga Rush during her opening remarks.
Also welcoming President Tymas-Jones to the community were the President of the Cornish Faculty Senate Lauren Basson, senior Theater student Jasmine Lomax, Staff Council Chair Jason Sharp, and Cornish graduate SassyBlack (Catherine Harris-White ‘08). Members of the Cornish College Faculty and Student String Quartet (Michael Lim, instructor, Alexander Hawker, student, Heather Bentley, instructor, and Ha-Yang Kim, instructor) performed the prelude and processional music and the recessional. Theater senior Clayton Cooper did the reading from Robert Frost’s “Choose Something Like a Star.” Also performing were Professors Dr. Natalie Lerch and Johnaye Kendrick along with Instructor Kelly Ash ‘08, singing Lerch’s arrangement of “Amazing Grace.”
President Tymas-Jones is the tenth president of Cornish College of the Arts.