The Professor Howard J. Serwer Family Fund

The Professor Howard J. Serwer Family Fund 

The Department of Music has received a generous donation from two Columbia alumni, the brothers Nicholas (CC ‘78, Law ‘81) and Andrew (Journalism ’85) Serwer, to create a fund in memory of their father Howard Serwer (Business ’50, pictured above).  Howard Serwer left behind a career in business to pursue his passion, musicology, and had a long, distinguished career as a professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. 

The Serwer Fund will assist currently registered graduate students in Historical Musicology, Theory, and Ethnomusicology in the pursuit of their scholarly work, including dissertation-related research, travel to conferences, and other initiatives. 

Applications for funding will be accepted twice a year, on October 15th (for this first year; normally October 1st) and April 1st. Applications should include:

  • A cover letter explaining the purpose for which the funds are being requested;
  • A description of other funding sources for which the student has applied or which he or she has received for this purpose;
  • An estimated line-item budget (airfare, hotel, conference expenses, supplies, etc.). 

We will be able to offer students up to a total of $1,500 per award. Funds will be distributed through University-approved mechanisms & policies for purchasing, including reimbursement upon the submission of receipts and a travel and business expense report. 

Determination of the awards will be made by a faculty committee led by the Department Chair. 

Applications should be sent electronically to the Department of Music's Administrative Assistant, Jenny Lee (jjl2248 [at], by midnight on the due date. Late applications will not be considered. Awards will be announced within a month after the deadline. 

Inquiries about the award can be directed to the Director of Graduate Studies, Walter Frisch (wf8 [at]