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Tribute To Dr. William Foster And The Marching 100

Sen. Bob Graham

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Mr. President, as we approach a new century, I recognize one of the giants of the 20th century: Dr. William Foster, Chairman of the Music Department and Director of Bands at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida.

After enriching the lives of thousands of students, and entertaining millions around the globe via superlative performances of The Marching 100 band, Dr. Foster is retiring. A special tribute will be held honoring him in Tallahassee on September 4, 1998.

Dr. Foster's service to Florida A&M University and the field of music spans half a century. His genius was in melding the varied sounds of musical instruments--along with unique choreography--into one of the most celebrated and sought-after marching bands in the world.

With each performance, The Marching 100 band proves the axiom that music is an international language. And its director, Dr. Foster, is music's Ambassador at Large, lifting the spirits of all who heard the glorious sounds of this talented group and saw the high-stepping moves that set this band apart from all others.

Mr. President, this is the time of year that we send our children and grandchildren back to school to begin another academic year. As a nation, we focus on the vital role of education.

Dr. Foster personifies the finest attributes of an educator. He passed on knowledge to thousands, he built teamwork and instilled discipline, and he had fun along the way.

The educational leadership of Dr. Foster is one of the reasons why Florida A&M University is ranked among America's leading institutions of higher learning. Last year, Florida A&M University was cited as ``College of the Year'' by editors of TIME magazine and The Princeton Review.

Mr. President, I have been honored to visit Florida A&M University on many occasions. I have experienced the spirit on campus, in the classrooms and among the greater Florida A&M University family of alumni, faculty, administrators, and students.

And, I have experienced the special joy of watching and listening to The Marching 100 under the direction of Dr. Foster. I call on my colleagues in the Senate--and all those who love music--to join me in this tribute to an outstanding American, a gifted educator and band director without peer: Dr. William Foster.