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Gift honors “Boss” Cutler

Robert "Boss" Cutler laughs during a visit with Lehigh choral arts students in July 2004, just a month before he passed away.

To his students, Robert Cutler was affectionately and universally known as “Boss.” As director of choral activities and chairman of Lehigh’s music department from 1954-1979, Cutler ignited students’ love for music while nurturing their vocal talents.

In celebration of his 90th birthday in 2003, more than 70 of his former students honored him with a surprise concert at the university. In August 2004, Cutler passed away at the age of 90.

Stephen F. Goldmann ’66 is one of the many students whose life was touched by Cutler.

“I was blessed in so many ways by my time at Lehigh, but being in the Glee Club under the leadership of the ‘Boss’ was truly one of my greatest lifetime experiences,” he remembers.

Moved and inspired by his beloved professor, Goldmann and his wife, Joyce, have made a gift of $1 million to establish the Robert Cutler Endowed Professor of Practice in Choral Arts at Lehigh, ensuring that Cutler’s legacy will live on for years to come.

The Goldmann gift is part of Shine Forever: The Campaign for Lehigh, and will strengthen the College of Arts and Sciences at Lehigh as well as the choral arts program.

“Joyce and I are grateful to be able to honor such a wonderful person, loved by a generation of Lehigh students,” Goldmann says.

“The Goldmanns’ commitment to Lehigh ensures that future generations of students will continue to be inspired and uplifted through music,” says Gregory Farrington, Lehigh president. “They’ve chosen a truly wonderful and generous way to continue the legacy of ‘Boss’ Cutler and honor his memory.”

Anne Meltzer, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, says, “Endowment gifts like this are incredibly important because they sustain quality programs. Students across Lehigh’s campus participate in and benefit from the choral arts program. This gift benefits not only the music department, but the entire campus.”

The choral tradition of Lehigh University dates back to 1875. Since that time, there has been a distinguished tradition of singing at Lehigh. Steven Sametz, the Ronald J. Ulrich ’66 Chair in Vocal Music, is the fifth director of choral activities in Lehigh's 130 years of choral arts, having joined the faculty in 1979.

Stephen Goldmann retired as chairman of ExxonMobil Energy, Ltd. in Hong Kong, after a 33-year career with Exxon and ExxonMobil. He earned a degree in chemical engineering at Lehigh and a Ph.D. from Imperial College of the University of London. Joyce Goldmann is a graduate of Cedar Crest College.

--Joanne Anderson

Posted on Monday, November 14, 2005

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