2008 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient - Michael Quimby
The University of Central Missouri Alumni Association presented the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award to Michael Quimby, a longtime Warrensburg resident who is nationally recognized in the pipe organ industry.
Quimby is founder, president and tonal director of Quimby Pipe Organ, Inc. The son of a university professor, he earned his bachelor’s degree in music education with an emphasis in organ from Central Missouri in 1973. He continued his education by completing a master’s degree in music history and literature with emphasis in organ in 1975. His company has built and restored organs across the country, and is currently overseeing the restoration of the massive Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City, the largest gothic cathedral in the world.
Since forming his company in 1970, he has developed an outstanding reputation in his field. Since building his first pipe organ, “Opus 1,” at First Christian Church in Warrensburg, his projects and achievements have included his appointment as curator of the Aeolian-Skinner Pipe Organ at the RLDS Auditorium (nowCommunity of Christ) in Independence, Mo.; designing and building a pipe organ for William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo.; designing and building the pipe organ at First Baptist Church in Jackson, Miss., the largest pipe organ to be built in the United States in the last 15 years; and a host of other organ rebuilding and design projects across the nation.
True to his love for music, Quimby encourages musical development at all ages. As a member of the American Guild of Organists, he provides leadership and support for the The Rising Star regional competition for young organists. He has also held leadership posts, such as president of the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America and employed many UCM students on a part-time basis over the years. For his many achievements, Quimby received the UCM Distinguished Music Alumnus Award in 1989.