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7, 8 or 9 founder honored with Chancellor's Medallion
Forrest, News Bureau
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Daniel
J. Perrino, professor emeritus of music at the University of Illinois,
has been awarded the Chancellor's Medallion, bestowed upon exceptional
individuals whose services to the university have exceeded all expectations
"Nearly ever letter of recommendation that was sent on Dan's behalf
uses the word 'ambassador' in describing his contributions to this campus,"
Chancellor Michael Aiken said. "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."
Perhaps Perrino's most celebrated achievement is his founding of the
jazz ensemble Medicare 7, 8 or 9. The group's first informal performance
at the Illini Union in 1969 was intended to help soothe campus unrest
by bringing faculty, staff and students together through music. The
ensemble became a goodwill vehicle for the university, traveling to
38 states and performing in more than 2,000 concerts before its final
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 television
The name Medicare 7, 8 or 9 alluded to the advancing age of the musicians
and the number who showed up to perform.
A UI alumnus, Perrino earned bachelor's and master's degrees in music
education in 1948 and 1949, respectively. He joined the faculty in 1960
as a professor of music and music 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 dean of campus programs and services and associate dean of
the College of Fine and Applied and Arts. Perrino helped launch several
cultural diversity programs, including the Black Chorus, La Casa Cultural
Latina, Quad Day and the African American Cultural Program.
After retirement in 1988, Perrino returned to campus part-time as coordinator
of alumni affairs and development, and in 1989 as coordinator of alumni
affairs for the School of Music.
In 1992, 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.