BIG RAPIDS - Ferris State University President David Eisler will be returning to his alma mater, the University of Michigan, this weekend to receive accolades as a School of Music, Theatre and Dance Hall of Fame Inductee.
The Hall of Fame was established to recognize and honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to society, their profession, and the U-M School of Music, Theatre and Dance.
Nominees include alumni of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, present or former faculty members, and others who have given unselfish service to the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.
Receiving this honor brings back many fond memories for Eisler of his days as a University of Michigan undergrad and band member. He met his wife, Patsy, there and became the band's solo clarinetist in his junior year, an honor typically reserved for graduate students. He also studied under the tutelage of renowned conductor the late William D. Revelli, who even gave Eisler his first taste of Ferris.
"We played many concerts with the Michigan Band, but I remember the Ferris visit vividly because I made an error during rehearsal and Dr. Revelli made certain I wouldn't make that mistake again," he added, noting Revelli was known throughout the country for his high standards and demanding expectations. "Although I found him intimidating as an undergraduate, he later worked for me in the graduate program we were building. Dr. Revellitook a strong interest in me, became one of my mentors and developed into a lifelong friend."
Little did Eisler know he would later return to Big Rapids as the University's president, and even play clarinet for local audiences again by performing with the school's Pep Band.
"I have lots of very happy memories of my days at the University of Michigan," he said. "It is wonderful that another of my mentors, my clarinet teacher from Michigan, Dr. John Mohler, will be present for my induction in the Hall of Fame. I studied with Dr. Mohler both as an undergraduate and when I returned to Michigan for my doctoral degree."
President Eisler earned both his bachelor and doctoral degrees in Clarinet Performance at the University of Michigan and his master's degree from Yale University. Before joining Ferris State University, Eisler served as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.