September 22, 2003
The celebration of John Tiedtke's 96th birthday included a surprise gift–an endowed faculty chair at Rollins named in his honor. During a luncheon last week hosted by the Bach Festival Society, President Bornstein announced the establishment of the John M. Tiedtke Chair of Music.
"What do you give a man who has everything?" President Bornstein asked. She recognized Tiedtke’s role as a champion for music in Central Florida and acknowledged his service to Rollins since 1936, as a faculty member, administrator and trustee. President Bornstein also cited the strong connection Tiedtke has built between the College and the Bach Festival. Tiedtke served as president of the Bach Festival Society for 49 years before recently becoming chairman.
The idea for an endowed chair in music for Tiedtke came from the late Fred Rogers, creator of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and his wife, Joanne, both Rollins music alumni. Their kick-off gift was followed by contributions from other friends and admirers, and contributions are still being accepted.
President Bornstein concluded the surprise announcement by appointing Rollins professor of music and Bach Festival music director and conductor John Sinclair to the newly-created Tiedtke Chair. "An endowed chair is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a professor," she said. "It is a special pleasure to recognize John's outstanding talents with a chair named for one of Central Florida's greatest patrons of the arts."