George Shirley to be honored at the 2016 Shirley Verrett Award Ceremony

The Women of Color in the Academy Project is proud to announce that the 5th Annual Shirley Verrett Award will be presented to George Shirley on February 4 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Stamps Auditorium, North Campus. This event will feature a performance by acclaimed opera singer, Marcia Porter (cousin and former student of Shirley Verrett). A reception honoring Mr. Shirley will take place in the lobby immediately following the program from 6:00 pm until 6:30pm.


George Shirley is a Joseph Edgar Maddy Distinguished University Emeritus Professor of Voice. With a careerthatspans over 56 years, Mr. Shirley is in demand nationally and internationally as performer, teacher and lecturer. He has won international acclaim for his performances in the world’s greatest opera houses and has performed more than 80 operatic roles with many of the world’s most renowned conductors. Shirley received a Grammy Award in 1968 for his role (Ferrando) in the RCA recording of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. In 2015, he received the nation’s highest public artistic honor, the National Medal of Arts, awarded annually by the President of the United States at the White House to those who have “demonstrated a lifetime of creative excellence”.

This event is free and open to the public, however registration is requested. Please click here to register:http://tinyurl.com/ShirleyVerrett2016


The Shirley Verrett Award was established in honor of the late University of Michigan James Earl Jones Distinguished University Professor of Voice, Shirley Verrett, a teacher who “would have walked the world over for her students.” An internationally acclaimed opera singer who performed over 40 roles all over the world during the course of her illustrious four-decade career, Ms. Verrett was one of the pioneering leaders in the generation of black singers after Marian Anderson’s historical Metropolitan Opera debut in 1955.

The Shirley Verrett Award was established in 2011 by the University of Michigan Office of the Senior Vice Provost and is administered by the Women of Color in the Academy Project (WOCAP) at the Center for the Education of Women (CEW).




CEW extends special thanks to TIAA-CREF for its generous support of this event!