Skip to content
Adam Band ’20, a freshman business administration major, is a Powell Scholar and during the summer played with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, a highly regarded all-star touring orchestra made up of 21 accomplished high school jazz musicians. Credit: © 2016 Monterey Jazz Festival/Cole Thompson.

Adam Band ’20, a freshman business administration major, is a Powell Scholar. This summer he played with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, a highly regarded all-star touring jazz orchestra. Credit: © 2016 Monterey Jazz Festival/Cole Thompson.

  • Print
Academics

Powell Scholar finds right academic and creative mix at Pacific

Oct 20, 2016

In deciding on a college last fall, Adam Band '20 sought a challenging academic program and the opportunity to express himself creatively, while also having a chance to help people.

After all, he has played jazz saxophone since the fifth grade and while in high school, as he was earning scholastic honors, he helped to raise money to benefit fellow students who were in need.

Band had many colleges from which to choose, but finding one to fit the bill - strong academic program, music and the opportunity for community service - seemed like a tall order.

Then his mother spoke with his middle school math teacher whose daughter happened to be Powell Scholar and bioengineering major Colleen Motoyasu '17. University of the Pacific quickly rose to the top of the list for the Fresno teen and he eventually became part of the Powell Scholars Program, the premier academic merit program at Pacific.

"There's really nothing like the Powell program," said Band, a freshman business administration major. He singled out as key the program's opportunities, resources and focus on student leadership that allow Powell Scholars to achieve academically, while broadening themselves and helping others. The program offers opportunities in research, study-abroad, cultural experiences and community service, all of which attracted Band to the Powell program.

The Eberhardt School of Business arts and entertainment concentration was perfect for the aspiring jazz festival manager. The Conservatory of Music's jazz program, which regularly produces award-winning jazz ensembles and combos, appealed to his creative side. Other colleges had one or the other, but not both the academic program and music program he was looking for.

"Music makes me succeed academically," said Band, who plays mostly baritone saxophone for Pacific's big band and jazz combos, but can also play alto and tenor saxophones. "I reward myself with music for finishing my homework."

Adam Band '20, a Powell Scholar and aspiring jazz festival manager, was a member of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra and had the chance to meet Quincy Jones (right).

The Powell Scholars Program was created in 2008 with a gift from Robert C. and Jeannette Powell. Jeannette continued to be involved in the program until her passing in 2012. While neither graduated from Pacific, both served as regents and upon her death the university received $125 million from the couple's estate. The transformative gift continues to support the Powell Scholars Program and created the Powell Fund and the Powell Match, which matches new endowment gifts for scholarships and academic programs.

"Adam exemplifies the kind of academically talented student from various disciplines in the Powell Scholars Program who have already demonstrated leadership, scholarship, creativity and service," said Cynthia Wagner Weick, director of the program. "Adam and other students in the program value a broad and rich educational experience. I always enjoy observing the outstanding accomplishments of our current students and graduates."

Band showcased those traits while attending high school in Fresno. As a Boy Scout quartermaster, he organized a fundraiser to buy new tents for his troop and mentored younger scouts. He raised money as the vice president of his high school's Pay It Forward Club to help fellow students who were in need. He also was the saxophone section leader of his high school jazz band from his sophomore to senior year.

Academically, he earned both a Scholastic Achievement Award from Senator Tom Berryhill and an AP Scholar award in 2015 in high school. He became a California Scholarship Member in 2015.

He twice auditioned for the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, a highly regarded education program of the Monterey Jazz Festival, which brings together 21 of the most accomplished high school jazz musicians from across the country to form an all-star touring jazz orchestra. He failed to make the orchestra the first time, but the second time he auditioned he traveled from Fresno to Monterey to perform in person. He was rewarded with a seat in the orchestra and a two-week musical tour of Japan last summer where the group played at high schools and stayed with host families.

During the tour, Band was impressed by how music helped the students transcend cultural differences, even when technology in the form of language-translation apps sometimes failed.

"I just nodded my head 'yes' a lot," he said.

Band hopes his time as a Powell Scholar includes even more travel abroad.

Read more about Adam Band on the Eberhardt School of Business undergraduate blog here.

Tags for this article: