Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum Robert Santelli ’73 will deliver the Commencement Address to Monmouth University graduates at its Winter Commencement ceremony on Friday, January 17, at 1:30 p.m. at the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC). During the ceremony, an honorary degree will be awarded to Santelli. Monmouth University will award approximately 600 undergraduate and graduate degrees. About 400 students are expected to participate in the ceremony.
Santelli has been executive director of The GRAMMY Museum since June 2008. Prior to this position, he was the CEO and artistic director of the Experience Music Project in Seattle, WA, where he guided the creation of more than 30 exhibits, including the Bob Dylan’s American Journey, 1956-1966 exhibit. From 1993-2000, he was in charge of education and public programs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Santelli received his Master of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of Southern California and Bachelor of Arts degree from Monmouth College (now Monmouth University) in American History. He wedded his passion for music and education in 1992 when he returned to Monmouth University and joined the music department, where he established a thriving popular music studies program.
A noted blues and rock historian, Santelli has authored and edited more than a dozen books, including The Big Book of Blues, The Bob Dylan Scrapbook, and his most recent work, Greetings from E Street: The Story of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, published in 2006. In addition, he has written numerous articles for such magazines as Rolling Stone and Backstreets, along with newspapers such as The New York Times and the Asbury Park Press.
Additionally, Santelli served as co-chairman of Woody at 100, a partnership between the GRAMMY Museum and the Woody Guthrie Archives, producing numerous events celebrating Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday throughout 2012 across America and internationally. His latest book, This Land Is Your Land: Woody Guthrie and the Journey of an American Folk Song, was released in March 2012.