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Richard Erdman is named one of the University of Vermont’s Honorary Degree Recipients for the 2016 Commencement

We at Richard Erdman studios, are excited to announce that Sculptor Richard Erdman, is honored to be one of the University of Vermont’s Honorary Degree Recipients for the 2016 Commencement.The 2016 Commencement ceremony is being held at the University of Vermont on May 22, 2016. You can read the announcement of the University’s 2016 Honorary Degree recipients below.

March 30, 2016

By, University Communications,

The University of Vermont will award honorary degrees at the May ceremony to Paul Bruhn, Richard Erdman, Jaime Laredo, Dr. William and Viola Luginbuhl and William Ruprecht. The university will also award an honorary degree to Gail Sheehy, the 2016 commencement speaker.

Paul Bruhn is the executive director of Preservation Trust of Vermont, an organization known nationwide. He has served as director since the nonprofit’s inception in 1980. Under his leadership the Preservation Trust has worked with Vermont communities to preserve nearly 2,000 structures and properties, from churches, barns, and general stores to hotels, town theaters and county courthouses. These formidable efforts have saved and solidified the essential character of Vermont and are revitalizing Vermont villages and downtowns, a critical aspect of the smart-growth framework for the state’s future. Preservation Trust of Vermont has garnered the support of many grant-funding agencies, including the Freeman Foundation, which has provided funding to support more than 400 rehabilitation projects around Vermont. Preservation Trust provides technical support for projects through a nationally recognized field services program. The organization’s promotion of community-supported enterprises and creative economy initiatives is helping to position Vermont as a leader in developing new rural economies, work for which Bruhn and the Preservation Trust of Vermont have received numerous awards. Bruhn has used his talents as an advocate and adviser to preserve the most unique and defining aspects of Vermont and to advocate for a future based on smart land-use development and vibrant community centers. It would be difficult to find a nook or cranny, village or gore in Vermont that has not felt the influence of Bruhn’s vision.

Richard Erdman, University of Vermont Class of 1975, is an acclaimed sculptor working in marble and bronze. An artist with a strong international following, he has had more than 160 solo and group exhibitions throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. In 1985, PepsiCo commissioned him to create the monumental sculpture Passage, which stands at the entrance of the esteemed Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens at PepsiCo, considered to be one of the finest collections of twentieth century outdoor sculpture worldwide. Carved from a massive 450-ton block of travertine, the 25-by-16 foot Passage is the largest sculpture in the world carved from a single block of marble. A two-time All-American skier in his undergraduate years at the University of Vermont and a 1989 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, Erdman pursued his early career in art with the same passion and energy he expressed as an athlete. Connecting with skilled artisans in the famed marble region of Carrara, Italy, at the start of his master’s studies set his focus on stone sculpture. Once he began working with Italian marble, the physical vigor and mental focus that he had committed to athletics were directed to sculpture. His nuanced understanding of the materials with which he sculpts have led to the creation of a prolific body of work, from intimate maquettes to monumental sculptures weighing up to 50 tons, held in collections in 50 countries worldwide.

Jaime Laredo, music director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, is a highly honored violinist and violist and a revered teacher to aspiring musicians. He has performed before audiences across the globe in a professional career that spans more than six decades, excelling in his multiple roles as soloist, conductor, recitalist, pedagogue and chamber musician. He has performed and conducted with the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, London Symphony, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and many others; has recorded close to 100 discs; and has been nominated for seven Grammy awards. His prolific career includes 15 years as violist in a quartet with pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Isaac Stern and cellist Yo-Yo Ma; for 40 years he has been violinist of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, named Musical American’s Ensemble of the Year in 2002. Devoted to fostering the talent and aspirations of young musicians, Laredo has taught and mentored such renowned violinists as Hilary Hahn, Leila Josefowicz, Soovin Kim, Jennifer Koh and Bella Hristova. He stewards two important programs for young musicians: the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. As artistic director of New York’s renowned Chamber Music at the Y series, Laredo has created a forum for chamber music performances that has developed a dedicated following and captured the attention of a wide and diverse audience.

Dr. William (Bill) Luginbuhl, former dean of the University of Vermont College of Medicine from 1970 to 1990, andViola (Vi) Luginbuhl, University of Vermont Class of 1988, former University of Vermont trustee and Vermont legislator, have served the university and the people of Vermont tirelessly and with distinction since their arrival to the state in 1959. Luginbuhl was appointed to the faculty at the College of Medicine in 1960. In 1970 he was promoted to the College of Medicine deanship, a position he held for 20 years. He was the leading architect of an innovative curriculum that focused on core medical instruction followed by extensive clinical education. This focus on elective exploration, clinical immersion, and hands-on patient care put the College of Medicine in the vanguard of innovative medical education in the United States. Viola Larimore Luginbuhl has been equally energetic in her support of the University of Vermont and for health care and social services in the state of Vermont. Elected to the University of Vermont Board of Trustees in 1991, she served as a trustee in several key leadership roles. Her concern for her community is evident in her long resume of service including former board membership on the Visiting Nurses Foundation, the Vermont Ethics Network and the Lund Family Center. Following six years on the South Burlington School Board and then six years on the State Board of Education, she served three terms in the Vermont Legislature. With unwavering dedication to the fields of health care and education, the Luginbuhls forged a legacy of professional and personal accomplishment that has improved the quality and experience of life for so many in our state.

William Ruprecht, University of Vermont Class of 1980, is internationally recognized in the world of fine art collecting for his extensive knowledge and his personal manner of conducting business. He presided as president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board of Sotheby’s, the premier global art auction house, from 2000 to 2015, overseeing a worldwide art business across 40 countries and broadening the company’s focus to include private gallery sales and global education programs. Under his leadership Sotheby’s expanded beyond its traditional markets to open new offices in Beijing, Moscow, Istanbul and Doha, and began bringing to the market an impressive portfolio of contemporary young artists. Starting as a summer temp worker, he rose through the ranks, first as an Oriental carpet expert and then to being named lead auctioneer. He became known for his Old World touch, personally reaching out to buyers following an auction to acknowledge and congratulate them. He was appointed president and CEO in 2000, tasked with saving the centuries-old Sotheby’s from failure following a notorious price-fixing scandal. Sotheby’s resurged, with revenues climbing by 74 percent from 2000 to 2012. Ruprecht’s extensive experience in the worlds of art and business have been generously offered to the University of Vermont in his service as a university trustee, a founding board member of the University of Vermont Foundation, and in his ongoing service to the Foundation Leadership Council. On the occasion of his daughter’s graduation from the University of Vermont in 2011, Ruprecht established the Mollie Ruprecht Fund for Visual Arts to continue deepening the discussion and appreciation of art as a means for exploring life and cross-cultural experience.

Gail Sheehy, University of Vermont class of 1958, is a world-renowned author and journalist. Her extensive body of work includes 17 books and hundreds of magazine articles. She is a founding writer of New York magazine, where she was one of a tight cadre of literary colleagues including Tom Wolfe, Gloria Steinem, Nora Ephron and Clay Felker, developing a style of narrative journalism that brought a compelling personal voice to investigative reporting. From her first major assignment traveling with Robert Kennedy in his campaign for the 1968 Democratic nomination, her fearless, exploratory style offered her entrance to the center of her subjects’ milieu. She dispatched reports from inside the radical leftist movement at Columbia University, from the internal trials of the Black Panthers, from violent prostitution rings in New York City and from the frontlines of the civil conflicts in Northern Ireland. Later, as a biographer, interviewer, and profiler of world leaders, including Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev, her work made a great impact on the public’s understanding of what shapes world events and the people behind them. Her seminal book exploring the rhythms and evolutions of adult life, Passages (1976), remained a New York Timesbestselling book for three years and was recently named by the Library of Congress as one of the ten most influential books of our times.


UVM’s main commencement ceremony will take place on the University Green on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 8:20 a.m. 

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