The University of Oregon School of Music and Dance (SOMD) is pleased to announce Dr. Stephen Rodgers as the first appointee to the Cykler Chair of Music. First conceived and endowed in 2018, the Cykler Chair is named for Edmund A. Cykler, former professor and associate dean of the UO School of Music.
Cykler’s legacy as a trailblazer in the field of music education is honored by a $1 million gift from UO Foundation trustee Timothy Foo and an additional $1 million in matching funds from the UO Presidential Fund for Excellence. “I wanted to honor him for what he’s done at the University of Oregon and what he’s done for me personally,” said Foo, who studied with Cykler at a UO-sponsored program in 1966.
The Cykler Chair criteria includes evidence of an outstanding record of productive research, publication, creative activity, and scholarly achievement, as well as success at a national or international level, and outstanding teaching effectiveness.
A committee of five members from the UO academic community selected Rodgers from a field of candidates that have made a significant impact upon SOMD during their time at UO. “We felt that Rodgers’ forward-thinking research and interdisciplinary approach would be significant in the future recruitment of students and in the future development of the school’s curricular offerings and programming,” states the committee. “We also thought it truly reflected the work of Edmund Cykler.”
“It is an honor to recommend Dr. Rodgers,” adds Sabrina Madison-Cannon, the Phyllis and Andrew Berwick Dean of the School of Music and Dance. “He is the very embodiment of exemplary academic and professional citizenship.”
Rodgers is a UO professor of music theory and musicianship. He received his B.A. in Music and English from Lawrence University and his Ph.D. from Yale. His academic research focuses on the relationship between music and poetry – specifically the songs of nineteenth-century composers. He is also committed to exploring understudied repertoires of song, particularly those of women composers. In July 2019, Rodgers was one of ten University of Oregon faculty members to receive an inaugural Presidential Fellowship in Humanistic Studies.
“I’m truly overwhelmed,” said Rodgers in reaction to his appointment as Cykler Chair. “I take great pride in serving as a professor of music theory in the UO School of Music and Dance, and in supporting the mission of the school as we rededicate ourselves to becoming a place where diverse voices are recognized, supported, and included.”
Rodgers continued, “Edmund Cykler’s legacy of building bridges between diverse groups humbles me, and I sincerely hope I can live up to the example he left for this university and this community.”
The Edmund A. Cykler Chair becomes the third endowed chair at the School of Music and Dance, along with the Philip H. Knight Chair and the Robert M. Trotter Chair of Music Studies.