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Cogswell Hall is the home of IUP’s music department. In Cogswell Hall, students practice their instruments, take music classes and perform for their classmates, faculty and the community. 

On Friday, IUP’s Council of Trustees voted to approve the renaming of two areas of Cogswell Hall to honor two former faculty members.

The trombone studio will be renamed the Christian Dickinson Trombone Studio in honor of Dr. Christian Dickinson.

The music theater hall will be renamed the Sarah Mantel Music Theatre Hall in honor of Dr. Sarah Mantel.

Mantel worked at IUP for 27 years and accomplished numerous things during her tenure here.

“Dr. Mantel served as professor of voice and director of [the]Opera and Music Theatre [Department] at IUP from 1986 to her retirement in May 2013,” Michelle Fryling, IUP’s executive director of media relations, said.

“During her tenure, she directed more than 60 mainstage opera and musical theater productions and developed the opera/music theater program to include a season of two mainstage productions each year.

“In addition to development of a consistent program for undergraduate training in opera and musical performance skills, in 1990, she joined with the Department of Theatre and Dance in 1990 to begin a collaboration between the two departments for the production of a mainstage musical each academic year that showcased many music and theater students.”

Dickinson worked at IUP for 36 years and specialized in trombone instruction during his time at the university.

“Dr. Dickinson began teaching at IUP in 1985 and retired in June of 2021,” Fryling said.

“In addition to teaching trombone to generations of IUP students, he also taught music theory and brass methods and conducted the Brass Ensemble and Trombone Choir.”

Dr. Curtis Scheib, the dean of IUP’s College of Art and Humanities, said resolutions like these are important as they recognize the contributions of dedicated staff members to the university.

“These kinds of resolutions are important as they recognize the significant contributions of the faculty and their impact on large numbers of students,” Scheib said.

“In coming together to honor faculty in this way, the resolutions celebrate the entire community of current students, alumni and students yet to come who are engaged in these areas of study.”

Scheib recognized the impact that both Mantel and Dickinson had on many generations of IUP students.

“Through both naming initiatives, we have heard many stories of how Dr. Mantel and Dr. Dickinson have shaped the lives of students,” Scheib said.

Current and former IUP faculty, alumni, and friends came together to raise the funds to support this naming resolution.

“That funds were raised so quickly and with so many different people being involved in making contributions, again, shows how significant these two faculty members have been for IUP and the music department,” Scheib said.

Scheib hopes to carry on the legacy that Dickinson and Mantel left at IUP by caring for and educating students in a way that have a positive effect on their lives and their careers.

“My goal for the College of Arts and Humanities is for it to be a place of student-centered inquiry and exploration,” Scheib said. “As we have come together in the new College of Arts and Humanities, I see countless examples of faculty who are dedicated to students and to their learning.

“I see them engaged with students as individuals, guiding and mentoring, and helping them to imagine the opportunities that await.

“I would say to every student that we have a place for them to explore, to grow and to imagine all that they can be.”

More information about the naming resolution can be found at https://www.iup.edu/news-events/news/2021/09/trustees-approve-naming-resolutions-in-honor-of-long-time-music-faculty.html.

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