Robben Fleming:

Robben Fleming


Robben Wright Fleming, U-M President from 1968-1978 and again for an interim year in 1988 between the tenures of Harold Shapiro and James J. Duderstadt, died in Ann Arbor in January at the age of 93. He was perhaps best known for skillfully leading the University during a period of unrest and student protests on college and university campuses. His background as director of the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations at the University of Wisconsin surely contributed to his leadership and arbitration abilities. U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said, “Robben Fleming will be remembered in the same breath as Henry Tappan and James Angell as one of the truly great presidents of the University of Michigan. In an era of friction and fighting, he provided a voice of reason and respect.”

Fleming recounted those turbulent years in his 1996 autobiography, Tempests into Rainbows: Managing Turbulence. “In a very real sense during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s,” said James Duderstadt, Fleming’s successor, “the universities became the social consciousness of the nation and Michigan was one of the most prominent of those. I think its impact on our society has a lot to do with the wise, passionate leadership of Robben Fleming.”

Described by those who knew him as friendly, funny, and unpretentious, Fleming was an avid Wolverines fan and a Michigan Man through and through. He was married for 63 years to his college sweetheart, Sally Quixley Fleming, who preceded him in death. Together they established the Sally Fleming Master Class, in large part in honor of Sally and her love of music. That series continues to bring noted soloists to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance for master classes in all disciplines, among them Sally’s special love, strings.

The family has suggested donations to the Sally Fleming Master Class as one possible memorial to her. (University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Office of Development, 2005 Baits Drive, Ann Arbor, 48109-2075). A memorial service was held at First Presbyterian Church in January, followed by a campus tribute at Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre.


Trudy Huebner


A true and loyal friend to the dance program at Michigan, Gertrude Trudy Huebner, Regent Emerita, died in November at the age of 94. Huebner worked for thirty-five years in advertising, creating award-winning copy and jingles that became advertising icons for decades. She served the U-M Board of Regents from 1967 to 1975. At the time she was elected, she was the only woman on the board, and only the fourth in its 150-year history. Her enthusiastic commitment and tireless support of the university continued after leaving the Board of Regents. She was a key figure in bringing the Department of Dance from Kinesiology into the School of Music, Theatre & Dance in 1974. Friends and family endowed the Trudy Huebner Dance Scholarship in 1994 in recognition of Huebner’s service to dance and her steady attendance at all dance performances. (University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Office of Development, 2005 Baits Drive, Ann Arbor, 48109-2075)

Margaret Woodruff Fox


Margaret Woodruff Fox, BM ’41, MM ’46 (music education), passed away in April after a short illness. Some might remember Margaret from her years on the staff at the School of Music. After finishing her master’s degree, Margaret began part time work assisting music faculty; that led to a half-time position as faculty secretary for the School, where she worked for 46 years. In later years, she acted as assistant to organ professor Marilyn Mason. Fox began piano lessons at an early age and at 14 became the pianist at her church. During the war years, she taught music and other subjects for the Marlette (MI) schools.

Robert Hause III


Robert Hause III, BM ’58 cum laude, MM ’60 (music education) had a stellar career as a musician, composer, conductor, and music educator. He taught music in the Jacksonville (FL) public school system and served as assistant conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. He taught music and theory at Stetson University in Deland, FL, from 1962 to 1967 before accepting a position as professor of music and conductor of the symphony at East Carolina University, a post he held until his retirement in 2005. During his tenure at East Carolina University, he founded and served as director of the North Carolina Suzuki Institute. He was chairman of and helped found the Greenville Boys Choral Association and conducted the Greenville Community Symphony. He also created an annual series of special concerts for local elementary school children and composed and arranged several instrumental and choral selections. Hause was a guest conductor for several summers at the Brevard Music Camp and at the Eastern Music Festival. He traveled the country guest conducting for many musical arts organizations, and once conducted a big band from the deck of the USS North Carolina for the Riverside Pops festival in Wilmington.

Allen Hughes


Allen Hughes, BM ’47 (organ), longtime music and dance critic for The New York Times, died in November 2009 at the age of 87 in Sarasota, FL where he had been living since 2003. After completing his degree at Michigan, Hughes studied choral conducting with Robert Shaw at the Berkshire Music Institute, now Tanglewood.

In 1948, Hughes moved to New York to pursue graduate studies in music history and theory at New York University and it was there his writing career began, beginning with reviews for Musical America, before moving to Paris where he worked as a freelancer for two years. After his return to America, he joined The New York Herald Tribune staff as music critic. Five years later, he moved over to The New York Times, where he was music editor for its “Arts and Leisure” section in the early 1980s, writing about music, but also dance, perhaps his first love.

The New York Times, which described him as an “urbane observer of the musical and dance worlds,” wrote that, “[Hughes] championed avant-garde groups, often to the consternation of mainstream ensembles, and advocated for multimedia presentations and other innovations.” Along with dance, his other great love was 20th century French music. Of a New York Philomusica performance of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, he wrote that the composer had “managed to suspend time, to make the listener lose all sense of orientation and to be conscious only of a continuum of melody that seems to have no beginning and that makes no demand for an ending.”

Sara Titus Kring


Sara Kring, BM ’43, a long time supporter of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, died this past February at the age of 87. She graduated from Michigan in 1943 with a major in violin, followed by post-graduate studies at Juilliard. Kring met her future husband, William Kring, in a chamber music class at Burton Tower. She enjoyed a career as a professional violinist, playing and touring with the San Antonio Symphony and teaching violin at Trinity University in San Antonio. She played in various orchestras and chamber music groups on Long Island, NY, while raising her three daughters, and toured abroad with the Osko Symphony. She collaborated with her husband in many performances over her 30 years in New York. In 1995, she retired from professional music and moved to Ann Arbor where she continued to play in various chamber groups.

Charlotte McGeoch


Charlotte Whitman McGeoch, BM ‘36, died in February in Ann Arbor, the city where she was born, at the age of 95. Charlotte was a graduate of the University of Michigan, earning a bachelor’s degree in what was then called public school music. She married Glenn Douglas McGeoch, legendary professor of music appreciation, with whom she shared a love of music and who preceded her in death. Charlotte taught piano and directed high school choral groups prior to becoming a full-time mother. Active in the planning for the recent renovation of Hill Auditorium, completed in 2004, her estate gift to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance will be used to establish an ongoing renovation fund for Hill.


Barbara M. (Cahoon) Abney, BM ’40, MM ’41, in piano, died January 25, 2010

Wilda Frances (Perkins) Atkins, MM ’48, in theatre, died January 8, 2010

Anne (Schaeffer) Carrothers, BM ’40, in education, died September 27, 2009

Howard Eber Ellis, MM ’47, Ph.D ’57, in music education, died March 12, 2010

Ralph E. Hall, MM ’49, in music education, died June 12, 2009

Joseph (Cole) Howes, BM ’44, in music education, died March 22, 2010

William B. MacGowan, BM ’49, in organ, died December 15, 2009

Andrew C. Minor, MM ’47, in musicology, died October 29, 2009

Frances (Phillips) Nelson, BM ’44, in music education, died September 9, 2009

Beth (McLellan) Landis Noggle, MM ’43, in music education, died September 30, 2009

Dagmar (Carter) Wright North, BM ’44, in music education, died September 14, 2009

Jane (Neiser) Rife, MM ’48, in organ, died March 19, 2010

John Daniel Rohrer, BM’42, MM ’51, in music education, died January 22, 2010


Perry Cliffe Daniels, MM ’54, DMA ’65, in voice, died January 26, 2007

Mary Jane (Fyke) Fisher, MM ’51, in voice, died November 21, 2009

June E. (Moore) Huber, BM ’52, in music theory, died February 11, 2010

Jane G. Linsenmeyer, MM ’51, in theatre, died September 7, 2009

Arthur E. McCombie, MM ’50, in music education, died October 22, 2009

Jon Edwin Petersen, BM ’55, MM ’57, in piano, died August 24, 2009

Robert H. Pratt, MM ’55, in voice, died November 30, 2009

Durward R. Roberson, BM ’50, MM ’51, in winds, died December 5, 2007

Richard S. Saylor, MM ’58, in music theory, died December 11, 2009

Robert H. Pratt, MM ’55, in voice, died November 30, 2009

Marylyn E. (Ruff) Snook, BM ’50, in music education, died September 5, 2009

Martha N (Burckhalter) Stevens, MM ’51, in music literature, died December 22, 2009

Sterling W. Thomas, MM ’52, in piano, died March 18, 2008

Auburn G. VanSyoc II, BM ’51, in music education, died October 4, 2009

Charles H. White, BM ’53, MM ’59, in music education, died June 10, 2009

Russell Williams, MM ’50, in music education, died August 4, 2009


Brenda (Gee) Bjorklund, BM ’66, MM ’69, in music education, died October 27, 2005

James Elwood Evans, MM ’64, in music education, died July 30, 2000

Robert K. Mauch, BM ’60, in music literature, died December 17, 2009

Barton Meech, MM ’69, in music literature, died March 19, 2009

Beverly (Ketcik) Cortes Reynolds, MM ’61, in theatre, died January 20, 2010

Richard J. Ruhlen, MM ’62, in music education, died September 11, 2009

Donald O. Smith, BM ’61, in organ, died October 27, 2009

Nannette Lou (Horton) Tooman, BM ’60, in music literature, died December 18, 2009


John R. Griffiths, MM ’77, in tuba, died July 10, 2007

Carol A. (Pao) Nakamaejo, BM ’75, MM ’77, in piano, died February 9, 2010


Linda A. Koch, MM ’89, in clarinet, died October 19, 2009

Erven Thake Thoma, DMA ’86, MM ’77, in organ, died, October 29, 2009