Marylhurst University

Skip to content »

Berklee Bestows Honorary Doctorate on Thara Memory

Thara Memory, music alum, was given an honorary doctorate from the esteemed Berklee College of Music in May 2014.

Memory's advice for the graduating class? "You can't keep it unless you give it away. Start giving it away as soon as you walk out this door."

Memory and other honorary doctorate recipients for 2014 – Jimmy Page, Geri Allen and Valerie Simpson – were recognized for their achievements and influences in music, and for their enduring contributions to American and international culture. Past recipients include Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson, Steven Tyler, Loretta Lynn, David Bowie, Juan Luis Guerra, Paco de Lucia, Carole King, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss and George Clinton.

Thara Memory is a trumpeter, composer and teacher who has earned the reputation as one of the finest musicians and music educators in Portland, Oregon. Born in Tampa and raised in Eatonville, Florida, he has played with Dizzy Gillespie, James Brown, Natalie Cole, the Four Tops and Stanley Turrentine, among others. In 2005, he founded the American Music Program, a youth jazz orchestra scheduled to perform at the Blues Festival in July 2014. He shares a 2013 Grammy Award with his former student, Berklee alumna Esperanza Spalding, for his arrangement of City of Roses from her album Radio Music Society. Memory was named the Jazz Society of Oregon's Musician of the Year in 2006, inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in 2007, and was honored as Portland Jazz Master at the 2012 Portland Jazz Festival.

Thara Memory earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music, conducting and composition, at Marylhurst University.

» Read more at and

Related News

See All News

Belluschi Pavilion Featured in Preservation Magazine

The Belluschi Pavilion, a mid-century modern house moved to the Marylhurst campus, was featured in the fall 2015 issue of Preservation Magazine.

Remembering Paris: Interfaith Candlelit Prayer Vigil

On Wednesday, November 18, 2015, Marylhurst University will host an interfaith candlelit prayer vigil, offering light and love for our collective experience of shock, loss, grief and uncertainty in the aftermath of the violence in Paris.


See All Events

October 04, 2015 – December 05, 2015

Kartz Ucci Retrospective at The Art Gym

The Art Gym will present a retrospective exhibition of the work of Kartz Ucci, a talented and prolific artist who passed away in 2013 at 52 years o...


October 07, 2015 – December 16, 2015

The Planets: Paintings by Sarah Anne Burns

Sarah Anne Burns, BFA ’07 will present hundreds of watercolors in her series: The Planets. The paintings are a departure from Burns' other bodies...


November 30, 2015

Concert: Marylhurst Guitar Ensemble

The Guitar Ensemble's hard work throughout fall term culminates into this opportunity to hear some terrific classical ensemble pieces.



Support Marylhurst University. Gifts of all sizes make a difference!


© Marylhurst University