Welcome to the 2023 version of Western Carolina University’s “The Black Fantastic.” Last year, the University Communications and Marketing team created “The Black Fantastic” to highlight excellence among a few of WCU’s Black faculty and staff members. The project went on to win three platinum awards from the Hermes Creative Awards, an international competition that is one of the oldest and largest creative competitions in the world. During Black History Month, we continue that artistic and creative look at some of the people responsible for shaping and mentoring the great minds of the future.
Jack A. Eaddy, Jr., a native of Orangeburg, SC, and director of athletic bands at Western Carolina University, was named one of 10 finalists for the Grammy’s 2023 Music Educator Award, being the only college professor chosen among 1,205 nominees.
In his second year, Eaddy has continued the Pride of the Mountain’s legacy of excellence forged by band directors like Bob Buckner and David Starnes. He is a decorated music educator in his own right, boasting an impressive resume of accolades throughout his career, including the Florida Music Educators Association Tom Bishop Award.
“I’m blessed to be the leader of such a phenomenal organization, Eaddy said. “The students come here because they want to be successful, they want to achieve excellence and they want to be challenged to perform at the highest level.”
Eaddy proudly shares in this celebration. “It’s more than just me. I’ve been grateful to stand in front of some great people. This is more about them and their successes and things that we have been able to do together,” Eaddy said.
“Hopefully, the students that I started teaching 20 years ago will feel that effect as well as the students I will teach 20 years from now.”