Vice President for External Affairs Tom Riley bids alumnus, professor, dean, and vice president Larry Monroe a fond farewell as he retires from Berklee.
After directing the Berklee program in Italy for the 27th year, Larry Monroe retired from Berklee on August 1—the college he entered as a student in 1962 following his service in the Army—and where he has been a leading faculty member, chair, dean, and vice president. He has been a teacher and mentor to countless young musicians, many who have gone on to highly successful careers. In addition to his vast accomplishments in curriculum, programs, and international partnerships, he has probably auditioned half the students enrolled at the college at any given time over the last quarter century. He is a leader-by-example and friend to the many of us who have been fortunate to work alongside him during the course of his 50 years at Berklee.
I am personally grateful to know Larry as a friend, and have learned plenty from him over my 25 years here. He can be disarmingly open in sharing his thoughts and opinions, and listening to him helps you understand the value of a contrarian point-of-view as a balance alongside instinct. When it comes to subjects such as national and world politics, or the social and cultural history of music, he can freely extemporize what amount to private tutorials. He provides detailed instruction in the appreciation of fine Spanish cuisine, obscure jazz recordings, and rare single malts. He consistently demonstrates the critical importance of a global perspective in decision-making. For Larry, there are no knots that cannot be untied, or refashioned into graceful shapes.
He recently said that in retrospect, he can view his Berklee administrative years as a hiatus from what he truly loves to do, and is energized to get back to writing and playing music full time. Among other projects, Larry directs a very popular songbook series at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, and on October 18, will lead a concert at the Berklee Performance Center, bringing many of his friends and colleagues to the stage in a career retrospective.
Here’s to Larry and all he has done to make Berklee the best music college in the world, and for personally enriching all of our lives along the way.