- Associated Press - Friday, September 4, 2015

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The University Musical Society of the University of Michigan and professor emeritus George Shirley are being honored with the National Medal of Arts.

The White House says they’ll be among 11 recipients of the nation’s highest public artistic honor at a ceremony with President Barack Obama on Thursday in Washington.

The Ann Arbor school’s President Mark Schlissel says in a statement that the medals “recognize the University of Michigan’s immense contributions to cultural appreciation, as well as our spectacular legacy in arts education and presentation.”

Shirley is a tenor and educator who the White House says “paved the way for generations of aspiring African-American opera singers.”

Since 1879, the University Musical Society has brought world’s top dance, theater and musical performers to campus and the region.

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