Marty Bandier paid tribute to David Rezak, the outgoing director of Syracuse U’s Bandier Program, as the Sony Square Rooftop in New York on Tuesday. Pictured just before telling us we can't copy off their papers are (l-r) Bill Werde, Dean of the Newhouse School Lorraine Branham, Rezak and Bandier.

Rezak had run the program since it started 10 years ago. “I’m proud to say that since we launched the program we have now graduated seven outstanding classes of young professionals and there will be many more of them to come in the future,” Bandier said. “We almost have a perfect record of those who graduate, finding jobs in the music business or another related industry or going on to graduate school.”

Here’s the text of Marty's speech:

I just want to spend a few moments talking about the man we are honoring this evening – the Bandier Program’s first director David Rezak.

It’s incredible to believe that it’s now been more than 10 years since the Bandier Program launched and even longer for some of us who conceived this project nearly 15 years ago.

Just to give you some background, the main reason the Program was created was because of the lack of music business programs that afforded students the opportunity to learn the business of music. And so myself, John Sykes and Rob Light and a few other alumni, who had successful music business careers and who understood the need for a business program, worked with the university to create the Bandier Program, which I was privileged to endow.

And here we are all these years later with an education Program, which is one of the top Music Business Schools in the country and nationally rated. I’m proud to say that since we launched the Program we have now graduated seven outstanding classes of young professionals and there will be many more of them to come in the future. We almost have a perfect record of those who graduate, finding jobs in the music business or another related industry or going on to graduate school.

And I think out of all the things that I have accomplished in my career – and I’ve been lucky enough to achieve a few things over the years – this is one of my proudest successes.

Of course, none of this would have happened without our founding director David Rezak who drove the Program over most of its first decade, although I should also note that he spent a good part of the last few years trying to retire. But how could we let him go?

Dave, you are undoubtedly one of the main reasons why the Program is the success story it is today. Your knowledge, experience, wisdom and caring have been invaluable to the Program and, more importantly, to its students, many of whom are here tonight to pay tribute to you.

For those of you who don’t know, before Dave became director of the Program he had a long and distinguished career in the music industry, which included managing artists and founding a respected talent agency. With that experience, his love of music and desire to teach, it made him the ideal choice to be our first director.

Much to his relief  – and a great deal of inconvenience and annoyance to me as well as trepidation by the students – Dave did finally retire last year, but not without setting the stage for the Program to smoothly move into one of the most prestigious and foremost communication schools in the country. More on that in a moment.

I personally want to thank Dave for everything he has done for my Program and to wish him all the best for his retirement. Although Dave, don’t get too comfortable in your retirement as we may still need you from time to time.

As I said, with great thanks to Dave, the Program has this year made the seamless transition into the Newhouse School, the top journalism school in the country and a school with unrivaled learning facilities for advertising, PR, media, film, television and technology.

When we originally came up with the idea of the Program I initially thought it would be housed in Newhouse but it somehow wound up in Visual and Performing Arts instead. So I am thrilled that my original vision for the Program has finally been realized and it’s great that the students will now be part of this amazing place.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Lorraine Branham, Dean of the Newhouse School, for all she has done to make the move into Newhouse possible and I’d also like to thank the Bandier Program’s assistant professor Ulf Oesterle, its assistant director Lisa Steele and the ever-present Andrew Beyda, who is President of the Bandier Program Alumni Association.

Dave’s retirement gave us the very difficult job of having to look for someone to follow him. He set the bar so high that it wasn’t an easy task, but I’m pleased to say that in Bill Werde we have found someone who will be a first-class replacement for Dave.

As you know, among his many achievements, Bill was previously Editorial Director at Billboard and has an exceptional knowledge and understanding of the music business and entertainment industries that will be a significant asset to the Program. I’ve known Bill personally for a number of years and I really cannot think of a better person to follow Dave.

I know Bill you are going to be terrific and that with you as the Program’s director its future is in extremely capable hands.

So let me just finish by saying thank you everyone for coming this evening to pay tribute to Dave and to toast the future success of the Bandier Program. I can honestly say that I’m as excited about the Program now as I was when I first came up with the idea of starting it.



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