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The Curtis Institute of Music Announces Recent Additions to the Board of Trustees

December 7, 2017 | By Jennifer Kallend
Managing Director of Communications, Curtis Institute of Music

The Curtis Institute of Music Announces Recent Additions to the Board of Trustees

New Board Representatives Named for the Alumni Network, Crescendo Club, and Mary Louise Curtis Bok Foundation

Bayard R. Fiechter named president of the Mary Louise Curtis Bok Foundation as former president Sam Shipley becomes trustee emeritus


PHILADELPHIA—December 7, 2017—The Curtis Institute of Music announces additions to its board of trustees and the board of directors of the Mary Louise Curtis Bok Foundation, adding new voices and perspectives in support of the school’s mission to educate and train exceptionally gifted young musicians to engage a local and global community through the highest level of artistry. The additions to the board of trustees represent an ongoing commitment to expand the gender, age, intercultural, and geographic diversity of Curtis’s governing body.


Effective October 30, 2017, the following four new members were named to the Board of Trustees:

  • Andrew Jacobs, managing partner of Jamison Capital Partners and a resident of New York City. Mr. Jacobs also studied composition at Curtis from 1991 to 1993 with David Loeb.
  • Connie McCann, a resident of Bryn Mawr, Pa. and a senior partner at the Financial Services Practice at Spencer Stuart.
  • Ranji Nagaswami, chief executive officer of Hirtle Callaghan since 2016 and a resident of Haverford, Pa.
  • Janellen Farmer, a 1984 graduate of the Curtis opera program, who will represent alumni as the chair of Curtis’s Alumni Network executive committee. A resident of Phoenixville, Pa., she is a member of the voice faculty at DeSales University and music director at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church of Valley Forge.

Other recent additions to the Curtis board of trustees include:

  • William Brody, a resident of San Francisco, Calif., and professor emeritus at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where he served as president from 2009 to 2015. Dr. Brody previously served as president of the Johns Hopkins University from 1996 to 2009.
  • C. Richard Neu, who spent many years as a senior economist at the RAND Corporation. Now retired, he continues to serve as a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Dr. Neu resides in Los Angeles, Calif., and was a member of the Curtis board of overseers from 1997 to 2006.
  • Betty Whelchel, general counsel for the Americas division of BNP Paribas, a position she has held since 2005. Ms. Whelchel lives in New York City.
  • Alan Morrison, who holds the Haas Charitable Trust Chair in Organ Studies at Curtis. One of America’s most sought-after concert organists with an active performing and teaching career, Mr. Morrison has served on the Curtis faculty since 2002 and is an alumnus of the school.
  • C. J. Walsh III, CEO and founder of C. J. Walsh Marketing, was named the representative of Curtis’s young patrons group, the Crescendo Club, to the board of trustees. A member of the Crescendo Club steering committee since 2011, Mr. Walsh currently serves as its co-chair.


Other changes to the membership of Curtis’s governing bodies include the naming of Sam Shipley as trustee emeritus in recognition of his many years of dedicated service. Mr. Shipley served on the board of trustees from 1978 to 1984, and then again from 2012 to 2017, and has served on the the board of directors of the Mary Louise Curtis Bok Foundation since 1989, including terms as president from 2011 to 2017 and vice president from 2009 to 2011.

Named for Curtis’s founder, the Mary Louise Curtis Bok Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation formed exclusively for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes—particularly music and musical education— that today provides critically important support for the Curtis Institute of Music. In Fall 2017 Bayard R. Fiechter was named the president of the Mary Louise Curtis Bok Foundation, succeeding Mr. Shipley, and Victoria Bok was appointed representative of the Bok Foundation to the board of trustees.

About the Curtis Institute of Music

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians to engage a local and global community through the highest level of artistry. One of the most selective schools in the United States, Curtis accepts four percent of applicants each year on average. A tuition-free policy ensures that talent and artistic promise are the only considerations for admission. With a small student body of about 175, Curtis ensures that each young musician receives an education of unparalleled quality, distinguished by personalized attention from a celebrated faculty and a “learn by doing” philosophy. Curtis students hone their craft through than 200 orchestra, opera, and solo and chamber music offerings each year in Philadelphia and around the world.


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