Biographer and jazz pianist Mark Tucker from Columbia University performed and spoke on "Duke Ellington: Piano in the Foreground" in a Dickinson Kayden event.  The author of two standard volumes of Ellington scholarship, Duke Ellington: The Early Years (1991) and The Duke Ellington Reader (1993) Tucker performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Institution as well as with jazz repertory groups.

At the time of his death in 2000 Tucker was vice president of the Society for American Music.  The society’s annual Mark Tucker Award recognizes “an outstanding student paper presented at the annual SAM Conference.”

Mildred Bernstein Kayden ’42 established the fund in 1966 in honor of the late Professor of Music George Sherman Dickinson.