HARROGATE — Lincoln Memorial University President B. James Dawson conferred an honorary doctor of music degree on Rural Rhythm Records recording artist Steve Gulley during the winter commencement exercises.
Gulley is just the fourth person in the history of LMU to receive an honorary doctor of music degree. He follows bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley, who was awarded an honorary doctorate from LMU in recognition of his contributions to the bluegrass genre and his lifetime achievements in the field of music.
“It is fitting in a year where we lost Dr. Ralph Stanley – a legendary musician and remarkable ambassador for LMU, that we honor another son of Appalachia making a name for himself in bluegrass music,” said Dr. Gary Burchett, second-vice chair of the LMU Board of Trustees, during the ceremonies. “Steve Gulley has traveled the world sharing bluegrass music and Appalachian culture where ever he goes. LMU is fortunate to be associated with such a gifted singer, songwriter and guitarist.”
Gulley is considered a stalwart of the top echelon of lead and tenor singers in bluegrass music. He has earned multiple Male Vocalist of the Year nominations and he co-wrote the International Bluegrass Musical Association Song of the Year in 2008. Gulley led the popular group Grasstowne. He was a founding member of Mountain Heart and recorded five highly acclaimed, award-winning albums with the group.
Currently he performs and records with his group, Steve Gulley and New Pinnacle. Gulley leads Acoustic Music Week, an annual summer workshop, at LMU. The program brings world-renowned musicians to Harrogate, Tennessee, to teach novice musicians of all ages. Additionally, he has partnered with LMU to present a monthly concert series, The Cumberland Mountain Music Show, at the Cumberland Gap Convention Center. Featuring the music and heritage of mountain people, the Cumberland Mountain Music Show is a live family-friendly show including gospel, bluegrass and country music and down-home comedy. Besides Gulley, the monthly show features great entertainers from the Tri-State Area as well as guests from Nashville and all around the country.
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or email at [email protected]