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Sunday, May 1, 2016

DePauw visit by Todd Rundgren leads to IU professorship

Friday, September 24, 2010

Todd Rundgren speaks to a group of DePauw students during his April 2009 visit to DePauw's Prindle Institute. Banner Graphic/JAMIE BARRAND
GREENCASTLE -- "Todd Rundgren, the rocker-producer known for his songs "Hello, It's Me," "Bang the Drum All Day" and "I Saw the Light," has been selected as the Class of 1963 Wells Professor at Indiana University - Bloomington for this fall," notes an announcement from the school Thursday.

It points out, "A confluence of events sparked by a Rundgren speaking engagement at DePauw University led to the IU professorship."

Rundgren was brought to DePauw on April 8, 2009, as a guest of the Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture Series. Ken Owen, executive director of media relations for the University, coordinates the Ubben Series, and has known Rundgren for years, having interviewed him five times during his career in television news. Owen moderated the DePauw event. In the audience that night was Glenn Gass, a professor at IU's Jacobs School of Music, who also knows Rundgren and Owen.

After the program, the three men talked at Almost Home in downtown Greencastle, and Rundgren shared how much he enjoyed interacting with a college audience.

The musician and technology pioneer will teach for two weeks at IU as part of a four-week Wells Scholar course, "The Ballad of Todd Rundgren: Musical Journeys of a Lifetime."

"Todd is a treasure trove of memories, knowledge, stories," said Gass, whose father, Clint, is professor emeritus of mathematics at DePauw. "This class is a way for him to celebrate what he's done and allows him to share his experiences with students who really want to hear what he has to say."

In IU's announcement, Gass credits Owen, calling him "a huge Todd scholar -- Todd to him is like the Beatles to me."

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