Maultsby receives President's Medal from IU

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Congratulations to Dr. Portia Maultsby, Laura Boulten Professor of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and director of the Archives of African American Music and Culture, who received the President's Medal for Excellence on Oct. 8 for her outstanding work at IU. Designed to replicate the president’s jewel of office, the President’s Medal originated in 1984 and is the highest honor an IU president can bestow.


Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie presented the President's Medal for Excellence to Portia Maultsby Oct. 8 at the university's Academic Excellence Dinner.

Maultsby, who has been at IU Bloomington since 1971, is the Laura Boulton Professor of Folklore and Ethnomusicology in IU Bloomington's College of Arts and Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology and her master's degree in musicology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a bachelor's degree in piano, theory and composition from Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kan.

Her research interests include popular music, the music industry, African American music and musical aesthetics and transnationalism. She is also director of the Archives of African American Music and Culture.

Maultsby received an award in 2011 from the National Association for the Study and Performance of African American Music, and serves as an advisory board member for the Institute for Popular Music at the New York-based University of Rochester. She has served as researcher or advisor for various video and radio documentaries for the National Afro-American Museum, PBS, Radio Smithsonian and NPR, among others. She also founded and conducted the Indiana University Soul Revue, a touring student ensemble.

The highest honor an IU president can bestow, the President's Medal for Excellence recognizes, among other criteria, distinction in public service, service to IU, and extraordinary merit and achievement in the arts, humanities, sciences, education and industry. The medal itself is a reproduction in silver of the symbolic jewel of office worn by IU's president at ceremonial occasions.

Also receiving medals at the dinner were Anthony Droege, professor emeritus of art at Indiana University South Bend, and Phillip Tennant, who retired in June from IUPUI's Herron School of Art and Design.

"At Indiana University, we recognize that the disciplines that comprise the arts and humanities remain central to our ability to discover, collaborate, create and innovate, and we will continue to invest in and support them," McRobbie said. "These three Indiana University faculty members, Portia Maultsby, Phillip Tenant and Tony Droege, who are from three different IU campuses, exemplify IU's continued strength and excellence in the arts and humanities. They have each reached the pinnacle of academic achievement in their widely different fields, and they have also been recognized by their peers around the world for their tireless dedication and tremendous contributions to their disciplines. 

"We are extremely pleased to recognize and honor their outstanding intellectual achievements, their commitment to excellence in every endeavor they have pursued and their tireless dedication to enriching the life of the university."