Murray State alumnus, professor receives Golden Apple award

Chalice Keith

Story by Sabra Jackson, Staff writer


John Dressler, professor of music, was awarded the Golden Apple by the Murray State Alumni Association April 7.

“I am grateful to and overwhelmed by our alumni recognizing me for having given freely of all of these elements as well as my time and talents in an unselfish way to better our graduates as citizens of the world,” Dressler said.

The Golden Apple award is “one of the most distinguished awards we offer on campus to faculty on behalf of the Murray State University Alumni Association,” said Carrie McGinnis, director of alumni relations.

“To have received the 2017 Golden Apple Award is both humbling and an act of affirmation that I have had a positive effect during my nearly 30 years on campus,” Dressler said.

McGinnis said the award goes to a faculty member who has gone above and beyond their duties, providing excellence inside and outside of the classroom. This faculty member must have taught for eight consecutive years or more.

“[Dressler] has been here for nearly 30 years,” McGinnis said. “He’s much beloved and has proven himself to be an outstanding professor.”

Dressler holds a Bachelor of Arts in music education from Baldwin Wallace University and a Master of Music with distinction in French horn performance from Indiana University. He holds the first Doctor of Music distinction award in French horn performance by Indiana University.

Students nominate professors through an email that is sent out to juniors, seniors and graduates. On these nominations students make remarks about why they think the professor should be nominated. The nominations are then sent to a committee of the alumni association to determine the final winner. Dressler was selected among 85 nominations.

“He’s helped a lot of students in the past,” said Quinton Roberts, senior from Belleville, Illinois. “He will talk to anybody.”

Roberts said Dressler was the college head of Lee Clark Residential College before he knew him through the department of music. When Roberts showed interest in becoming a residential advisor, Roberts said Dressler helped him with the process.

“He gives a lot more than he takes and that’s really big here in college,” Roberts said.

Dressler volunteers as an organist and pianist at Lone Oak United Methodist Church. He also plays second horn with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra, and serves as an extra player, when needed, with the Indianapolis Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Owensboro Symphony and the Evansville Philharmonic.

Dressler served as an academic adviser for 22 years and continues to advise students in the liberal arts music concentration. He came to Murray State in 1989 from Baylor University.

Katie Payne, associate director of alumni relations, said the number of nominations gets larger each year. She hopes to incorporate a way to let the professors know just how much the students say about the professors in the future.

“Our student body continues to give such positive feedback about our professors and it’s just heartwarming and just so beautiful,”  Payne said.

Dressler will be retiring after the spring 2017 semester.