Honors and Awards
Connecticut Commission on the Arts
Governor’s Arts Award
In 2000, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts bestowed the Governor’s Arts Award on Willie Ruff. Gov. John Rowland presented the award. Other recipients that year included poet and librettist J.D. McClatchy (an adjunct professor at Yale) and architect Philip Johnson, designer of Yale’s Kline Biology Tower.
Samuel Simons Sanford Medal
Yale School of Music
May 20, 2013
At commencement in 2013, the Yale School of Music granted its highest honor, the Samuel Simons Sanford Medal, to Willie Ruff. It is named after the pianist Samuel Simons Sanford, who taught at the Yale School of Music from 1894 to 1910. The Sanford Medal has also been awarded to many other distinguished musicians, including Emanuel Ax, Pierre Boulez, Aaron Copland, Marilyn Horne, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Shaw, Georg Solti, and Virgil Thomson. (The Gilmore Music Library holds the papers of Shaw and Thomson, including their Sanford Medals.)