AU Press Releases

Higby reappointed to Turner Chair in Alfred University's School of Art & Design

D. Wayne Higby will fill the Robert C. Turner Chair in Ceramic Art for a second five-year term.

The first-ever endowed chair for the School of Art & Design was created in 2005 with an endowment gift from Marlin Miller Jr., chairman emeritus and long-time member of the Alfred University Board of Trustees and his wife Ginger. Higby was first appointed to the chair that year.

The Turner Chair honors the legacy of Robert C. Turner, a longtime member of the renowned Ceramics Division of the School of Art & Design at Alfred University.

According to the agreement creating the chair, the holder “shall be a distinguished faculty member who is also a nationally prominent artist and educator in ceramic art,” just as Turner was.

Turner was a 1949 alumnus of Alfred University, earning a Master of Fine Arts degree in ceramic art. He taught at Alfred for 21 years, until his retirement in 1979, and served as chair of the Ceramic Art division.

He brought international acclaim to Alfred University as a Fellow of the American Craft Council and a recipient of its highest award, the Gold Medal. He was a member of the International Academy of Ceramics and an honorary member and past president of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. He received the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Binns Medal from Alfred University for “high achievement in the field of ceramic art.”

Higby joined the AU faculty in 1973, and like Turner, he is acclaimed as both an artist and an educator. He is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award; is a Fellow of the American Craft Council and holder of a Gold Medal; and is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics.

He received the National Council on Education for the Ceramics Arts’ highest honor; is an honorary professor at Shanghai University; an honorary president of San Bao International Ceramic Institute, which he helped to found; and an honorary citizen of Jingdezhen, China, for his efforts to use art as a common language to bridge cultures.

As an artist, Higby was acclaimed by the American Crafts Movement as one of seven people it called “genuine living legends representing the best of American artists.” The James Renwick Alliance presented its Board of Governors’ Master of the Media Award to Higby.