I want to take a moment to present inarguable proof that Yale University stands head and shoulders above all other Ivy League schools.
I offer in evidence this picture of Yale President Peter Salovey presenting an honorary doctorate to Bluegrass music pioneer, Dr. Ralph Stanley, during Yale’s 2014 graduation ceremonies.
The picture is courtesy of photographer Michael Marsland and Yale University. Thanks for allowing me to use it.
I am a bluegrass music fan so the obvious first reason this news is cool is that Yale is honoring Stanley for his decades-long musical career. It’s not the first honorary doctorate that Stanley has received, but it’s special for another significant reason.
I have had the honor of seeing Stanley and the 2000s version of The Clinch Mountain Boys perform live at the annual Carter County Shriners Bluegrass Festival in Olive Hill.
But I have also had the pleasure of watching the guy on the left, Dr. Salovey, slap the stand-up bass with his bluegrass band, The Professors of Bluegrass, that he and an other Yale faculty member formed at Yale.
Though his advanced degrees are in psychology and sociology, combined with an obvious track record of outstanding leadership in higher education, I can personally attest that this man plays quite well on the bass.
The Professors perform frequently at the annual River of Music Party (ROMP) bluegrass festival at Yellow Creek Park in Owensboro, Kentucky. The event is sponsored by the International Bluegrass Music Museum, another of Kentucky’s great treasures.
Almost every year, the Professors makes the trek to Owensboro, Kentucky to perform.
That’s quite a powerful testament to Kentucky’s rich musical heritage.
If you’re curious, the Professors of Bluegrass have released their first collection of music called “Pick or Perish.”
There are also plenty of tickets available for ROMP in Owensboro. Check out rompfest.com for more information.
In the meantime, consider this an object lesson in proper child raising. Put a musical instrument in your child’s hands and maybe they’ll grow up to be President….OF YALE!!