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Ryan Piurek
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Wednesday, March 3, 2004

IU School of Music Dean Emeritus Charles Webb named to national committee on cultural diplomacy

Photo by: IU Homepages

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University School of Music Dean Emeritus Charles Webb has been appointed by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to the new Department of State Advisory Committee on Cultural Diplomacy, Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar announced yesterday (March 2).

Lugar recommended Webb for the seven-member committee, which has been tasked with preparing a report for the State Department and Congress on how to increase the presentation overseas of American creative, visual and performing arts. The committee also will develop strategies for increasing public-private partnerships to sponsor cultural exchange programs that promote U.S. interests. The report is due by September 2005.

"Our country's creative people in all forms of culture are among the finest in the world, and I hope that this new committee will be able to increase awareness everywhere of the strengths and depth of these valuable resources," Webb said.

IU Bloomington Chancellor Ken Gros Louis praised Webb for his years of service to the School of Music. Under Webb's leadership, the school was ranked number one in quality in three independent national surveys.

"Charles served the School of Music with enthusiasm and distinction for a quarter of a century and maintained it as one of the crown jewels of IU," Gros Louis said. "I'm pleased for him that he's been accorded this honor, and I know he will serve as well in this assignment as he has throughout his distinguished career."

Lugar, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that it is important for the nation to communicate its values to the world, promote cultural diversity and expand opportunities for interaction between Americans and foreign peoples.

"Indiana colleges and universities have long been on the forefront of international exchanges and education programs. Dr. Webb's unique insight will be invaluable as we seek to expand and enhance international understanding," Lugar said.

Webb served as dean of the School of Music for 24 years (1973-97). A celebrated accompanist, he has been awarded numerous individual honors, including the Thomas Hart Benton Medal and the President's Medal from IU, listings in Who's Who in America and Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, and three Sagamore of the Wabash awards from the state of Indiana, the highest award that the state gives for meritorious service.

Webb has presided on the juries of several prestigious international music competitions, including the Liszt-Bartok Competition in Hungary, the Busoni Competition in Italy and the Munich Competition. Webb was named an honorary member of the Alliance of Distinguished Rank Professors of IU in 1997. He maintains an active performance career as conductor, pianist and organist.