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Honors scholarship program named in honor of Dr. Bert C. Bach

Contributed • Jan 10, 2020 at 5:54 PM

A scholarship program at East Tennessee State University that helps develop artists for the 21st century is being named in honor of longtime Tennessee higher education leader Dr. Bert C. Bach, who retired from ETSU this month following more than 25 years of service as the institution’s top academic official.

The Bert C. Bach Fine and Performing Arts Scholarship Program is offered through the ETSU Honors College. Students chosen for this highly competitive program receive a full academic tuition scholarship for four years.

“Since this program started, we have had students from every arts program on campus participate as Fine and Performing Arts scholars,” said Dr. Scott Koterbay. “Students who are selected have the opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty on a major creative, artistic or research project and also have access to services within the Honors College, including our computer labs, study facilities, rehearsal and studio spaces and other special events.

“Many of our students go on to graduate schools in some of the most prestigious arts programs, and many are employed by prominent arts organizations and companies around the world,” Koterbay added.

Approximately 17 new students are selected each year for the program.

Bach joined the ETSU administration as provost and vice president for academic affairs in 1994 and also served as interim president from 1991-92. He has worked within the Tennessee higher education system for 43 years.

His service includes work with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges , Southern Regional Education Board, Tennessee Board of Regents, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and Tennessee College Association. Bach received the Meritorious Service Award from the Southern Association and has chaired multiple accreditation teams.

The new theater in the Martin Center for the Arts will be named the Bert C. Bach Theatre.

“One of the most profound ways Dr. Bach has influenced this campus is through his unwavering support of the arts,” said Dr. Chris Keller, dean of the ETSU Honors College. “From the beginning, he has been a great champion for the Honors College and this scholarship program, and we are proud to have this opportunity to recognize his legacy and the many ways he has invested in our future artists.”

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