Everett "Vic" Firth '52, '92 hon. D.M. spent fifty years as timpanist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, during which time he also served on the percussion faculty at NEC and developed the world's leading drumstick manufacturing company. His drumstick and percussion accessory enterprises have diversified into a gourmet cookware operation with a Vic Firth line of rolling pins and pepper mills also on the market.

In 1992 NEC recognized Firth's contributions to the world of music with an honorary Doctor of Music degree.