April 14, 2004--The following tribute was presented by Jay Hildebrandt, professor of music, at the General Faculty Meeting on April 12.
Born April 30, 1913, in Custer Country, Neb., Mildred Gaddis received most of her early education in Lincoln. She attended Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln and Northwestern University. During her nine-year stint as a government employee, she pursued piano studies as an avocation. In 1945, she resigned her government position to continue her studies at Columbia University, where she earned a bachelors and a masters degree in music education.
In 1948, she began her tenure at the University of Delaware as a coordinator of piano and theory in the Department of Music. Upon her retirement in 1973, she was named associate professor emerita.
While at UD, Prof. Gaddis and Anthony J. Loudis performed regularly as a piano duo. She was also the accompanist for many music department concerts and performed frequently with the UD String Quartet. Her performance output was remarkable, considering the teaching and service load she carried.
Prof. Gaddis was the founder of the Delaware State Music Teachers Association and served for six years as its president and nine years as treasurer. In 1960, she assisted with the establishment of the MTNA Eastern Division, encompassing 13 states. She served in its leadership almost every year from 1960 through 1972. She chaired the MTNA Solo and Ensemble Festival at UD from 1960-81 and was active in the Newark Symphony Orchestras Annual Competition for Young Musicians from 1978-87. She was a charter member of the Newark Symphony Society and served on its board.
With regard to her prowess as a teacher, Prof. Gaddis was elected to Pi Lambda Theta, National Honor Society in Education; she received the University of Delaware Excellence in Teaching Award in 1973; and she was named Teacher of the Year by the Delaware State Music Teachers Association in 1974 and 1986. She was given the DSMTA Service Award in 1988 and was recently honored by the Music Teachers Association foundation as an MTNA Fellow in recognition of her outstanding contributions to music teaching.
After retiring from the University, Prof. Gaddis continued teaching piano and music theory in her home at Cokesbury Village until 1997. She was a member of Sigma Alpha Iota (National Music Society), the P.E.O. Sisterhood and the Newark United Methodist Church, where she also served in leadership positions.
Mildreds career left an indelible mark on the Department of Music and the cultural life of the University community as a whole.
Jan. 21, 2004--Mildred M. Gaddis, associate professor emerita of music at UD, died Jan. 16 at the age of 90.
Born in Custer County, Neb., Miss Gaddis received most of her early education in Lincoln. She attended Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
For nine years, she was employed by the U. S. Government in various capacities in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Kansas City, Mo., where she was acting personnel director for a four-state region of the Midwest.
While a government employee, she pursued her study of piano as an avocation. In 1945, she resigned from her position with the government to continue her schooling at the Teacher's College, Columbia University in New York, where she received bachelors and masters degrees in music education.
She was employed by the University of Delaware in 1948 as coordinator of piano and theory in the music department. When she retired in 1973, she was named associate professor emerita.
While at the University, she was a dual pianist with Anthony J. Loudis. She also was the accompanist for many music department concerts and performed several times with the University of Delaware String Quartet.
Miss Gaddis was founder of the current Delaware State Music Teachers Association and served as its president from 1959-63 and 1969-71 and its treasurer from 1965-169 and from 1975-80. She was named board member emerita in 1988.
In 1960, she assisted with organizing the Music Teachers National Association, Eastern Division, which consisted of 13 states. She was vice president from 1960-62, president from 1962-64 and representative to the National Certification Board from 1968-72. In that capacity, she prepared theory tests, which were used, for National Certification of Piano Teachers by Examination.
Miss Gaddis chaired the annual Solo and Ensemble Festival at the University of Delaware from 1960-81.
She was actively involved with the Newark Symphony Orchestras Annual Competition for Young Musicians from 1978-87, chairing it from 1981-1987. She was a charter member of the Newark Symphony Society and served on the board for many years. One of her responsibilities was chairing the memorial concerts from 1983-88.
She was elected to Pi Lambda Theta, national honor society in education.
Miss Gaddis received the University of Delaware Excellence in Teaching Award in 1973 and was named Teacher of the Year by the Delaware State Music Teachers Association in 1974 and 1986, and she was given the DSMTA service award in 1988.
Recently, she was honored by the Music Teachers National Association Foundation as an MTNA Foundation Fellow, a program that recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to music teaching.
After retiring from UD, Miss Gaddis continued piano and theory teaching in her home and at Cokesbury Village, and she retired in 1997 after teaching for 50 years.
She was a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, the national music sorority, the P.E.O. Sisterhood and the Newark United Methodist Church, where she was a long-time choir member, member of the administrative board, music commission, finance committee and communication committee.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, Jan. 23, at Newark United Methodist Church and at 2 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 12, at Cokesbury Village Health Care Center.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Newark United Methodist Church Building Fund or to Cokesbury Village Health Care Association Benevolent Fund in care of R. T. Foard & Jones, 122 West Main St., Newark, DE 19711.