Adelphi University will award an honorary doctorate degree to Kelly Hall-Tompkins, a renowned violinist, humanitarian and pioneer of social justice in the arts at its Commencement ceremony.
Adelphi University will award an honorary doctorate degree to Kelly Hall-Tompkins, a renowned violinist, humanitarian and pioneer of social justice in the arts, on Monday, May 23, at its Commencement ceremony at the Nassau Live Center, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Hall-Tompkins will also serve as the keynote speaker for the event.
“Adelphi is proud to acknowledge Kelly Hall-Tompkins with an honorary degree, in recognition of our shared ideals and the powerful impact of the arts on higher education, our nation and the world,” said Christopher Storm, PhD, Adelphi provost and executive vice president. “We look forward to her address to our graduates and their guests, which is sure to be inspiring.”
Hall-Tompkins is an award-winning classical violin soloist and chamber musician who has played for audiences across the United States and around the world. She was the inaugural Classical Roots Artist-in-Residence with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and has performed with orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Oakland Symphony, the Jacksonville Symphony, the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of New York. Hall-Tompkins also played the music of “The Fiddler” as violin soloist in the 2015 Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof. She has been featured in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The New York Times named Hall-Tompkins a “New Yorker of the Year” in 2017 in a profile that highlighted the charitable organization she created, Music Kitchen – Food for the Soul. Through Music Kitchen, Hall-Tompkins brings professional classical musicians to homeless shelters in New York City, Los Angeles and other cities across the country to share the transformational power of music with this disenfranchised population. Over the past 15 years, the organization has played to an estimated 30,000 people living in homeless shelters through more than 100 performances. Music Kitchen commissioned Forgotten Voices with support from Carnegie Hall, a composite song cycle featuring the concert feedback of shelter clients from the first 14 years, set by 15 award-winning composers—including Adelphi University professor and Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Moravec, DMA. Premiered individually exclusively for shelter clients throughout 2019 and early 2020, the complete song cycle received its world premiere to a sold-out audience at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall on March 31.
At Adelphi’s 2022 Commencement, the University will also confer the 2020 honorary degree of alumnus José Singer Weisinger ’73, whose career spans from business leadership and entrepreneurship to high-level service to his country, the Dominican Republic. Singer, a 1973 graduate of Adelphi, is adviser to the president of the Dominican Republic on international affairs and former ambassador and special envoy to the United Nations Security Council, of which he held the presidency in January 2019 and April 2020.
Learn more about Adelphi’s 2022 Commencement ceremony.