Larry Hill, Sandy Bonds, and David Will, take a moment to pose with the newly installed president of Baldwin-Wallace College, Richard Durst, second from right.
by Alexandra Bonds
Dick Durst Inaugurated
On October 27, Baldwin-Wallace College celebrated the investiture of its eighth President, USITT Past President Dick Durst. Seventy-eight colleges, universities, and organizations sent representatives to the festivities and they were listed in in the program in the order of their founding, beginning with St. Andrews in Scotland in 1413.
Also in attendance were USITT members Larry Hill, Treasurer; Sandy Bonds, Vice President for International Activities; and David Will, a colleague of Mr. Durst's from Pennsylvania State University and a USITT Director at Large.
The event included a performance by the students in the BWC Music Theatre program, a sterling rendition of the finale from Les Miserables. Mr. Durst built on the inspirational lyrics to reflect on his mission for the college in his address, "Follow us to the Future."
"The lyrics of the song the music theatre students sang say, 'Who will be strong and stand with me…,' implying that we'll challenge old beliefs and bureaucracies, political and ideological structures. That line finishes with "Is there a world you long to see," asking if we desire a better place for the future… Those who know me know how important the focus on the future is to me, just as Les Miserables provided a stimulus that changed the world of musical theatre. I have said so many times that we must never forget what got us here, but a good leader must inspire us to walk to the edge of the world, to see what's out there and to explore how new discoveries could or should influence the legacies of our respective worlds."
Mr. Hill, USITT's official representative at the investiture, commented "long-time members of USITT would have recognized the call to a vision and the vitality of Dick's message to the Baldwin-Wallace community. The only missing element for his USITT colleagues was the "swag" of a New Products Showcase."
Mr. Durst has been an active member of USITT for many years, including serving as President from 1994 to 1996, and on the Executive Committee as Chair of the International Committee. He served as President of OISAT and headed the International Council of Fine Arts Deans. Prior to joining Baldwin-Wallace Mr. Durst was dean of the College of Arts and Architecture and executive director of University Arts Services at Pennsylvania State University.
For USITT, Mr. Durst has led several study tours and is heading the planned 2007 tour to Eastern Europe for the Prague Quadrennial. He has served as Master of Ceremonies of the New Products Showcase for USITT dressed in everything from a cape to beachwear.
Richard Durst at his investiture wears the ceremonial chain of office representing the previous presidents of Baldwin-
Wallace College. It was designed by the institution's fifth president, Alfred B. Bonds Jr., father of USITT VP Sandy Bonds.
Photos/Courtesy of Alexandra Bonds