William Moylan Named University Professor

Chancellor Jacquie Moloney and Provost Joseph Hartman congratulate William Moylan, center, on becoming the university's 12th University Professor
Chancellor Jacquie Moloney and Joseph Hartman, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, congratulate William Moylan, center, on becoming UMass Lowell's 12th University Professor.

By David Perry

Prof. William Moylan, who brought UML’s nationally renowned Sound Recording Technology Program from silence to full volume more than three decades ago, has been named the 2019 Distinguished University Professor.

The annual award is the highest accolade that can be given to a UMass Lowell faculty member. It honors educators recognized by their peers for outstanding contributions to teaching, research and service.

Moylan, who set the SRT program in motion upon his arrival at UML in 1983, is a Beatles expert who has also authored several highly respected books on the art of recording. A new book, “Recording Analysis: How the Record Shapes the Song,” is due for release in the coming months.

“I’m still kind of numb, very surprised by this,” said Moylan at a brief ceremony in Chancellor Jacquie Moloney’s University Crossing office. “It’s a very deep honor. It’s very gratifying when the place you’ve worked for 37 years acknowledges the significance of the work you really dedicated your life to.”

Moloney said the SRT program’s international recognition “really is because of Will’s dedication and pursuit of excellence at all times.”

It was the rigor and cross-disciplinary reach that brought the program a national reputation, launching alumni into careers in an array of sonic fields. At every turn, Moylan embraced new technology and continues to encourage his students to use technology as a tool – a musical instrument to learn to play.

A composer, producer, engineer and academic, he served as coordinator of the SRT program until 2018, when he passed the baton to Asst. Teaching Prof. Brandon Vaccaro.

Moylan “always instilled a high level of professionalism, a solid work ethic and integrity in his students, myself included,” said Adam Ayan ’97, a six-time Grammy-winning mastering engineer. “His unique and groundbreaking ear-training class alone changed the way I think of and hear recorded music forever, and is a skill I use every day in my professional life.”

Moylan is the 12th professor to receive the Distinguished University Professor award since it was established in 2008.