Spring Commencement

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Honorary Degree Recipient

At its 145th Commencement on May 28, 2016, Elmhurst College will confer an honorary doctoral degree on an individual whose commitments and achievements embody the College’s mission, vision and core values.

The 2016 honorary degree recipient is:

Fred W. Gretsch ’71
An influential music-industry executive, Fred Gretsch is president of the Gretsch Company, founded by his great-grandfather in 1883 as a manufacturer of drums, tambourines and banjos. The company is widely known as the drum-maker of choice for jazz artists such as Max Roach and Philly Joe Jones and as the producer of guitars wielded by many of the world’s most acclaimed guitar heroes, including Chet Atkins, George Harrison and Pete Townshend. 

Fred Gretsch, his family company and the Gretsch Foundation have been generous supporters of the College and its Department of Music, funding scholarships for students of music and music business and providing key support for the state-of-the-art Gretsch Recording Studio. The music department’s ensembles perform exclusively on Gretsch drum kits.

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty Alzada Tipton will deliver the Commencement address.

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