A Memorial Service for Calvin Hicks, a longtime member of the NEC faculty, will be held Sunday November 17th at 2:00 pm at the African Meeting House 46 Joy Street, Boston. Hicks, who led NEC’s Office of Community Collaborations, died August 25.
Born in Boston in 1933, Hicks was a member of the NEC faculty and administration from 1992 through 2008, and besides directing the OCC, was a member of the College liberal arts faculty, where he taught introductory Sociology and introduced the course "Black Culture and Consciousness."
At NEC, Calvin gave particular attention to the presence of gospel music at the conservatory, including the formation of a gospel summer institute, the NEC Community Gospel Choir and the NEC Millennium Gospel Choir. For more than a decade he was the organizer of the annual Thomas A. Dorsey Gospel Jubilee held in Jordan Hall, an event which always attracted overflow audiences. Under the banner of Community Collaborations, he oversaw study programs for minority youth, including NEC's Woodwind and Brass Ensemble Program. His retirement celebration on February 15, 2009 filled Brown Hall with admirers and colleagues from the Boston community, including Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who declared that day “Calvin Hicks Day” in Boston.
Calvin's long service of teaching and administration, and his work for social justice spanned many colleges and universities, including Brandeis University, Brooklyn College, Long Island University/Brooklyn Campus, City College of New York, Richmond College/Staten Island, Goddard College/Vermont and Mississippi (where he was director of the Third World Studies Program), Brown University (lecturer in the African American Studies Department, assistant director of admissions, director of the Third World Center), Roxbury Community College (division chair, liberal arts and humanities, dean, academic affairs), and the Longy School of Music (Modern American Music faculty).
In association with the Teaching and Learning Center of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Calvin wrote the blueprint for Another Course to College, an alternative high school in the Boston public school system. The co-founder of the Black Educators Roundtable in Boston, he was the author of numerous reports, research studies, and articles, and participated widely in African-American and Third World conferences and workshops across the country.
His awards for educational excellence and program development included the Distinguished Achievement in Education Award (Boston Orchestra and Chorale, 1998), the Distinguished Service Award (Dean of Arts and Sciences, Roxbury Community College, 1990), the Greater Boston Gospel Academy Award (Roxbury Community Presbyterian Church, 1995), the Millennium Award (Boston Orchestra and Chorale, 2001), the Gospel in Majesty Award (Tri-ad Veterans League, Inc. and Magnolia Society, 2002), the African-Americans Making History Today: Bearers of the Flame/Passing the Torch Award (The Students of the Boston Renaissance Charter School, 2003), and the Community Fellows and Reflective Practice Alumni Award 2006, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning. NEC's Anna Bobbit Gardner/Coretta Scott King Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Calvin in 2005.