Wynton Marsalis Named Honorary Co-Chair of University Musical Society’s National Council

The University Musical Society (UMS) hosted its annual meeting of the UMS Board of Directors on Wednesday, June 27, electing six new Board members and re-electing four officers. Additionally, two new ex-officio members were appointed to the Board.

The Board also recognized Wynton Marsalis as the new honorary co-chair of the UMS National Council. Marsalis will serve alongside UMS National Council co-chairs Rachel Bendit and Bruce Tuchman. Also appointed to the National Council are New York-based supporters Kenneth (A.B. ’80) and Noreen (A.B. ’84) Buckfire, and Jay Ptashek (B.B.A. ’89) and Karen Elizaga. Members of the UMS National Council serve as advocates, strategic advisors, and philanthropic supporters for the organization. A full listing of UMS National Council Members can be found at

“Born of a long-standing relationship spanning more than two decades, we are delighted to welcome Wynton Marsalis to the UMS National Council as honorary co-chair of the group,” said UMS president Matthew VanBesien. “Wynton’s supreme artistry and passion and advocacy for education and community-building through the arts is exceptional, and his expertise and counsel will be invaluable as we look to achieve our vision going forward.”

As part of the annual meeting, the Board elected six new Board members, whose four-year appointments officially begin in July: Karen Bantel (A.B. ’77, M.B.A. ’84, Ph.D. ’87), Mary Campbell (A.B. ’67, M.B.A. ’79), Alec Gallimore, Linda Gregerson, Tim Marshall, and Brian Willen. In addition, Thomas Kinnear (Ph.D. ’72) was named a special representative to the Board representing the Sustaining Directors, and Zita Gillis (B.A. ’75) was appointed a representative to the Board as chair of the UMS Ambassadors group. Biographies of all new Board members are listed at the end of this release.

The Board also re-elected Sarah Nicoli to serve as chair; Tim Petersen, managing director at Arboretum Ventures, as vice-chair; Mark Clague, associate professor of musicology and director of entrepreneurship and career services at the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance, as secretary; and Lisa D. Cook, associate professor of international relations and economics at Michigan State University, as treasurer.

The Board recognized three retiring members for their outstanding service to UMS: Richard Gutow, Daniel Herwitz, and Agnes Moy-Sarns. The three retiring members will be invited to join the UMS Sustaining Directors, a group of former UMS Board members who continue to assist in promoting UMS’s mission.

“We are immensely grateful to Richard Gutow, Daniel Herwitz, and Agnes Moy-Sarns for their years of service as members of our Board of Directors,” VanBesien stated. “It’s been both a pleasure and an honor to work with them during my first year as president of UMS. We’re also thrilled to welcome the new members to our Board and continue working with the stellar officers who will continue their service to UMS.”


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