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Aid for Promising Upperclassmen

 
  Berklee trustee Dean Goodermote
  Phil Farnsworth

Berklee trustee Dean Goodermote has enjoyed a career as a software entrepreneur, always looking for the next best thing the industry has to offer. He has founded or led a half dozen software companies and served as board chair and CEO of Double-Take, a data-protection, recovery, and backup software developer. But during the past decade or so, he's been pursuing another passion on the side: music.

Goodermote had been aware of Berklee for as long as he can remember, but learned more about the college while living in Boston's South End in the '70s and '80s. "I've always been aware of the school and been a fan of the contemporary approach," he says. "I lived in the neighborhood-I was a wannabe."

Goodermote attended performances at the Berklee Performance Center and caught shows at such local jazz hotspots as Wally's and Ryles. But after his son enrolled at Berklee as a full-time student, Goodermote's involvement with the college deepened. At the invitation of the membership committee of Berklee's Board of Trustees, Goodermote joined the board in 2010. He has been so impressed with Berklee that he and his family established the Goodermote Endowed Scholarship to help give upper semester students an oft-needed source of financial assistance midway through their educational trajectory.

The concept for a scholarship to help students complete their studies was inspired in part by the positive experience he and his family had funding an award for upper-semester students at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Goodermote noted a similar need among Berklee's students.

"A lot of students come to Berklee and get through their first year or two, and then their financial situation changes," says Goodermote. After discussions with Berklee president Roger H. Brown about contributing to the Giant Steps campaign, Goodermote decided to create a scholarship to be awarded annually to upper-semester students who show promise as performance, songwriting, or music production and engineering majors. "With a downturn in the economy, it seemed like a good thing to do," Goodermote says. President Brown welcomed the idea. "Dean's support can help us allow more students to get their degrees, leave with less debt, and go make their mark in the music world," says Brown.

Recently, Goodermote has been revisiting his own musical skills and interests. A multi-instrumentalist, Goodermote plays piano and bass, and dabbles in harmonica, guitar, and mandolin. Music had been a large part of his life during his younger years, and when he started getting serious about it again, he began taking private piano lessons. Eventually, he found himself looking for more formal studies, and that led him to Berkleemusic.com. To date, he's taken more than a dozen online courses in ear training, harmony, arranging, bass, piano, music production, and earned a Berkleemusic.com certificate. "There is a real quality there," he says of the online courses and faculty. "They've done a good job and continue to push forward with new technology. They really deliver."

Together with his musician friends from Double-Take, he formed the band Cluster-Funk, placing himself in the bass chair. He also joined a local jazz/rock band, House Red. A highpoint for that band was an invitation to play in the Executive Sessions concert series at Berklee's Cafe 939.

Goodermote is pondering his next professional move, and is considering a venture that would blend his affinity for software development and music.

No matter what his next enterprise is, it's clear that Goodermote plans to stay connected to the college. "Berklee is on the up and up, a place where aspiring musicians want to be."