Elizabethtown College’s 2018-19 Ranck Prize for Research Excellence Recipient Announced
December 7, 2018   //   By:   //   Campus & Community, Campus and Community, Features

E. Douglas Bomberger, Professor of Music in the Fine and Performing Arts Division, Department of Music Honored with Award

Written by Keri Straub, Director of Communications

At age 6, E. Douglas Bomberger played his first piano keys and was almost immediately hooked to the sounds of the music. Bomberger’s father, a longtime pianist, taught him how to play the piano keys, and it may have been what sparked his curiosity in pursuing a career in the music field.

“The pleasure of playing piano is what drew me to it,” said Bomberger. “The beauty of the piano is that you can create the entire musical compilation by yourself.”

Since 2005, Bomberger has served as Professor of Music in the Fine and Performing Arts Division in the Department of Music at Elizabethtown College. He’s focused his research particularly on the 19th century in the United States and its transformation during that period. Bomberger’s in-depth reflections and exceptional examinations are being recognized as he was recently named the 2018-19 Ranck Prize for Research Excellence recipient.

“It’s very gratifying to be honored with the Ranck Prize for Research Excellence award because we have so many people at Elizabethtown College who are doing top-notch research—this means a lot to me as a scholar,” Bomberger said.

The Professional Development Committee chose Bomberger from nominations submitted by faculty peers; and noted that Bomberger’s distinguished career has had a substantial influence on the field of musicology.

“Music was created by specific people for specific audiences and helping us to understand that original context can make it more meaningful today,” said Bomberger when reflecting on his impact on the College’s music program.

Bomberger recently wrote his sixth book titled, “Making Music American: 1917 and the Transformation of Culture.” The book examines the changes to music in the United States during 1917—the year the U.S. entered World War I. Bomberger shared, “In the course of one year, the musical culture in the United States changed as a reflection of the times.”

In addition to receiving a monetary award and a supplement to his professional development fund to support ongoing scholarly activity as the Ranck Prize recipient, Bomberger will give a presentation in Zug Hall on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 11 a.m. He also will be recognized in the 2019 Commencement program and will be honored at the 2019 Convocation.

About the Ranck Prize: 

Robert O. Kerr ’64 and Mary Ann Kerr ’64 established the Ranck Prize for Research Excellence as a permanent endowment to award a full-time faculty member of Elizabethtown College and to commend and celebrate excellence in research and commitment to his or her field of study. The prize honors John P. Ranck ’58, faculty member emeritus and former chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, for “his inspirational service to countless students at Elizabethtown College.”


Keri Straub joined Elizabethtown College in Nov. 2018 as Director of Communications in the Office of Marketing and Communications. Straub comes to Elizabethtown College with an extensive background in journalism and media relations. For more than 10 years, Straub has worked in both education and broadcast television industries and brings a wealth of experience in media relations, public speaking, and digital communications. Straub handles all media inquiries, serves as a college spokesperson, and develops content for various channels at the college.

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