Woodruff Selected to Lead ONU School of Music

Olivet announces new associate dean.
Laura Warfel headshot

LW Warfel

January 27, 2023 Academics

Neal Woodruff, Associate Dean School of Music

Olivet Nazarene University is pleased to announce that Dr. Neal Woodruff ’91 has been selected as the new associate dean for Olivet’s School of Music. Dr. Woodruff will succeed Dr. Don Reddick ’79, who is retiring in May 2023 after giving 26 years of generous and tireless leadership to the School.

Dr. Woodruff’s years of experience, strong relationships with peers and students, depth and breadth of knowledge within his field, a clearly-articulated understanding of ONU’s mission and culture, and a healthy history of ties with the Church of the Nazarene were all factors in the decision. The selection of Dr. Woodruff followed a three-month process that included input from both full-time and adjunct music faculty members, several of whom served on an interview panel.

Dr. Woodruff joined the faculty in 2000. Over the past 23 years, he has held various responsibilities, including directing the orchestra and concert singers, teaching classes and private voice lessons, and leading numerous musical tours to local churches and to countries around the world.

He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree in conducting from the University of Oklahoma (2002). He also has a Master of Music (MM) degree in vocal pedagogy and performance from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas (1995), and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in music education from Olivet Nazarene University (1991).

In addition to his university work and academic achievements, Dr. Woodruff has regularly contributed to local musical performances by partnering with the Kankakee Symphony Orchestra, the Sugar Creek Opera, the Kankakee Valley Theatre Association, the Acting Out Theatre Company, and more. His vast experience across so many areas of music and performance will serve him well in his new role as associate dean.

“Dr. Woodruff has the respect of his peers, his students, and so many others throughout the music world,” says Dr. Kent Olney, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “I am delighted that he has agreed to assume this important position for the University. Together, we welcome Dr. Woodruff to this key leadership role.”

Dr. Woodruff will begin his new role in the School of Music on May 15, 2023. The School is one of 11 academic units that make up the College of Arts and Sciences.

To learn more about the School of Music, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.


Laura Warfel headshot

LW Warfel

Laura Wasson Warfel is a story gatherer, writer, editor, and follower of Jesus Christ. A good listener, she distills details into meaningful communications. Her greatest joy is to bring others along with her on her faith journey. In 2015, she launched More Than A Widow, a ministry to help widows live beyond the label and find their more.

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