Hastings College to honor three individuals in inaugural Fine Arts Hall of Fame

Three individuals will be inducted as part of the inaugural Fine Arts Hall of Fame class during a brunch Sunday, October 13 at 11:30 a.m., followed by an induction ceremony at 12:30 p.m. at the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center (700 E. 12th St.). Tickets for the event are $8 per person and may be purchased by contacting the Hastings College alumni office at 402.461.7363 or alumni@hastings.edu.

The inaugural event recognizes alumni who are making a difference in their communities through their talents in fine arts.

The 2019 Hastings College Fine Arts Hall of Fame class includes:

  • Ruth (McKevitt) Moore ‘69 of Hastings, Nebraska, for Music
  • Gary Staab ‘89 of Kearney, Missouri, for Art
  • Michael Tushaus ‘98 of Las Vegas, Nevada, for Theatre

Biographies of the 2019 inductees

Ruth (McKevitt) Moore ‘69 served as professor of music at Hastings College from 1988 until her retirement in 2016. Moore earned her master’s from Southern Methodist University and is a recipient of the Nebraska Music Teacher’s Association’s Service Award and the Nebraska Music Educator’s Association’s Distinguished Service Award.  An accomplished pianist, Moore mentored hundreds of students during her tenure at Hastings College and has played for numerous campus and community events, including Hastings College chapel services, Handel’s Messiah, the Festival of Lessons and Carols, Pro Rege and Baccalaureate, along with numerous weddings and funerals.  She is currently the organist for First Presbyterian Church in Grand Island and serves as an accompanist at Walnut Middle School in Grand Island.

Gary Staab ‘89 is a freelance sculptor at Staab Studios in Kearney, Missouri, where he has combined his studies in biology and art to create numerous natural history and prehistoric life models for museums, publishing and film, both locally and globally.  Staab’s passion has taken him to many different and amazing places, including the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institute, Disney Animation, National Geographic and King Tut’s tomb. Staab has received the prestigious John J. Lanzendorf Paleoart Award on four separate occasions for outstanding achievements in paleontological scientific illustration and naturalistic art. His art can also be found locally at Hastings Museum and the Morrison-Reeves Science Center at Hastings College.

Michael Tushaus ‘98 has starred in and worked behind the scenes from Hollywood and indie film productions to performing onstage and working extensively backstage for dozens of theaters and Cirque du Soleil; his wide range of skills all began at Hastings College. During Tushaus’ time at Hastings College, he landed his first film role in a major studio film and earned multiple collegiate awards for musical compositions and was named a Who’s Who recipient. In 2013, he formed Digisphere Productions, where he provides many forms of video and film production resources. Tushaus has received dozens of film festival awards and nominations, and has received five Emmys® and 17 nominations from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Heartland and Pacific Southwest Chapters for his work on several commercials as director, editor, composer and producer, including for Prairie Books & Gifts in Hastings, which recently closed following the retirement of his mother, Jane. His work in production has allowed him to work with several big names in the professional sports, television, film and music industries.

Nebraska’s premier private college, Hastings College is a four-year institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. Hastings College has been named among “Great Schools, Great Prices” by U.S. News & World Report and a “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review. For more, go to hastings.edu.

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