20, No. 19, May 3, 2001
Dan Perrino honored with Chancellors
Forrest, News Bureau Staff Writer
(217) 244-1072; firstname.lastname@example.org
| Top honors Dan
Perrino and his wife, Marge, seem to be enjoying themselves
at the dinner held in Dan's honor March 26th when he was presented
with the Chancellor's Medallion.
When Dan Perrino
received a call from Chancellor Michael Aiken requesting a meeting,
Perrino said he thought perhaps hed be receiving a reprimand.
Instead, he learned that hed be receiving the Chancellors
Medallion, bestowed in recognition of his outstanding contributions
to the university during his 28 years on the faculty and since his retirement
"I was dumbfounded," Perrino said about receiving the award.
The Chancellors Medallion recognizes individuals whose service
to the campus has exceeded all expectations and precedents.
"Nearly every letter of recommendation that was sent on Dans
behalf uses the word ambassador in describing his contributions
to this campus," Aiken said, in presenting the award to Perrino
on March 26.
"In each role that he has played on campus, in more than 40 years
of service, Dan has always built goodwill between the university and
the people it serves," Aiken said.
A UI alum, Perrino earned his bachelors and his masters
degrees in music education in 1948 and 1949, respectively.
Perrino joined the UI faculty on Feb. 1, 1960, as assistant professor
of music and music extension in the division of university extension.
A year later, he became director of music extension and the Illinois
Summer Youth Music program.
Over the course of his career, he held seven different appointments,
including eight years as dean of campus programs and services. Perrino
helped launch several cultural diversity programs, including the Black
Chorus, La Casa Cultural Latina, Quad Day and the African-American Cultural
"He has, by dint of his energy and his active commitment to the
best ideals of this institution, raised the standard by which we should
measure service and the hope for what Martin Luther King Jr. called
a beloved community, " said Clarence Shelley, associate
vice chancellor for student affairs, in a letter recommending Perrino
for the award.
From 1976 until his retirement in 1988, Perrino served as associate
dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, where he was director
of the Illinois Summer Youth Music program, director of Continuing Education
in music and coordinator of Alumni Affairs and Development.
After his retirement, Perrino returned to the School of Music part time
in 1989 as coordinator of alumni affairs.
In 1992, after yet another unsuccessful attempt at retirement, Perrino
was selected to chair a university task force on ethnic and cultural
diversity, designing programs to unify the campus through cultural enrichment.
Since 1993, Perrino has been working part time at the Alumni Association,
where he coordinated the Medicare 7, 8 or 9 program and created a senior
alumni program, which sustains ties between the university and Champaign-Urbana
area alumni through continuing education and cultural events.
Perhaps Perrinos most celebrated achievement is his founding of
Medicare 7, 8 or 9, a jazz ensemble. The groups first informal
performance at the Illini Union in 1969 was intended to help soothe
campus unrest by bringing faculty and staff members and students together
Much to his surprise, Perrino said, the groups jam session at
the Union was not its last. The bands Dixieland sound was enormously
popular, and the ensemble became a goodwill ambassador for the university,
traveling to 38 states and delivering more than 2,000 concerts before
its final farewell performances at Krannert Center for the Performing
Arts in November 1998. More than 120 different musicians played with
the group during its 30 years and the ensemble made nine recordings
and five televisions appearances.
The name Medicare 7, 8 or 9 was derived from offhand remarks Perrino
and another band member made to a Daily Illini reporter at the initial
performance, alluding to age and number of musicians, which varied according
to how many showed up to perform.
On June 1, the 80-year-old Perrino plans to try retirement again, although
he said the prospect scares him a little because he doesnt have
However, Perrino is already working on another project related to the
university. Perrino and Hugh Satterlee, retired ombudsman, are coordinating
an oral history for the university archives in which 25 student affairs
personnel give their perspectives on campus events between the years
1968 and 1972.