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Trine friend earns mayor's arts award
Presentation in 11th year
March 19, 2010--Lynn Syler, Angola High School choir director, adjunct professor for the Trine music department and wife of retired 40-year Trine mathematics professor David Syler earned the Mayor’s Arts and Humanities Award March 19 in Wells Theater.
Dr. Dolores Tichenor, left, Lynn Syler and Dr. Tom Tierney share a laugh after Syler's receipt of the Mayor's Arts and Humanities Award in Wells Theater March 19. To surprise Syler, organizers told her the presentation was for Tichenor's retirement this year.
The late Bill Selman, Angola mayor, instituted the award 11 years ago, with guidance from the Humanities Advisory Board of the Steuben County Community Foundation, to honor an individual who has impacted the cultural life of the community for a significant period of time. Since then, the award has been presented at Trine by Angola Mayor Dick Hickman, with Trine’s Dr. Tom Tierney, English professor and Humanities Advisory Board member, as emcee.
The goal of the presentation—to surprise the award’s recipient—was realized. Drawn to the theater under the assumption Trine mathematics professor Dolores Tichenor was to be honored for her retirement this year, Syler listened with consternation as Tierney announced her name as the Mayor’s Arts and Humanities Award recipient.
“I’m so flustered. I thought this was for Dolores. I’m shocked,” Syler said. She said she had enjoyed being a part of the community, and especially her support by the local and Trine communities.
Tierney said Syler’s contributions made his board’s selection an easy task. Throughout her years as Angola choir director, she secured opportunities for her students to perform at Carnegie Hall and on the White House lawn. She prepared solo and ensemble contestants for the Indiana State School Music Association competition each year, instructed many of the choirs, including “Revelation,” and conducted concerts for the community for many years.
Hickman expressed pride in the tradition. “I feel very fortunate to have presented all of these awards. All of the recipients were very deserving, and now Lynn joins their ranks,” Hickman said. “Thanks for all you’ve done for the community.”