Berklee Today

LaPorta Dean's Award Instituted

This August, Professor Emeritus John LaPorta taught his last class at Berklee. Although LaPorta officially retired a few years ago, he has continued to teach in the annual summer program. Among those attending an August 18 reception commemorating LaPorta's educational contributions during his 37 years at Berklee, were LaPorta's colleagues Joe Viola and Herb Pomeroy, who have also retired in recent years.

In thanking LaPorta for his years of service, Executive Vice President Gary Burton recalled his first meeting with LaPorta. "John and I met in 1958," said Burton. "I was 15, and I found myself playing piano in a student band under his direction at the first Stan Kenton Stage Band Camp. His first words to me were, 'Don't comp like that!' It was the first of many pieces of advice I got from John over the next 40 years."

Burton then announced the initiation of a new award in LaPorta's honor. The John LaPorta Dean's Award will be presented annually to a recipient selected by the four division deans. Burton stated that the award will be one of the college's most prestigious forms of academic recognition. The recipient will be acknowledged in the annual commencement program and will receive the award at the student awards ceremony.

After Burton's remarks, the typically conversational LaPorta brought a ripple of laughter to the crowd by saying, "I am speechless."