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R. Brent Wagner
Regents' Proceedings 462

R. Brent Wagner, M.A., M.S., Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and associate professor of music (musical theatre) in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 2016.

Professor Wagner received his B.A. (1972) from the University of Idaho and his M.A. (1974) and M.S. (1976) degrees from Indiana University. He created and was head of the Musical Theatre Training Program at Syracuse University from 1976-84. He joined the University of Michigan faculty as an assistant professor in 1984, and was promoted to associate professor in 1987. He was named the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in 1994.

Professor Wagner has been the primary motivator behind the Department of Musical Theatre’s extraordinary success. He shaped its destiny, defined its aspirations, and increased its visibility to the current level at which it enjoys the reputation of being the finest, most sought-after program in the United States. Professor Wagner directed musicals and revues throughout North America, from off-Broadway in New York to the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. He collaborated with Sheldon Harnick on numerous projects, including a new opera at the O’Neill Theater Center, as well as the world premiere of A Wonderful Life (music by Joe Raposo) and his recent musical Dragons, both of which were staged at the University of Michigan. Professor Wagner was a tireless advocate on behalf of the students, the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and the University. He championed the University at donor related activities across the nation, including the Senior Showcase presented annually in New York City. His creative vision, extraordinary contributions, and enduring legacy will continue to shape the field of musical theatre and the School of Music,Theatre & Dance in the years to come.

The Regents now salute this remarkable artist and an exemplary teacher by naming R. Brent Wagner, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Emeritus and associate professor emeritus of music (musical theatre).