Heidi Grant Murphy, Western Washington University alumna and renowned opera singer, received Western's honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts and sang the national anthem and Western's Alma Mater at Western's summer commencement Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012.
Murphy was planning to be a high school music teacher and volleyball coach in her hometown of Bellingham before she came to Western, where her professors suggested she major in Vocal Performance. While in graduate school she was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was offered a spot in the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. After 20 years at the Met as well as experiences with other opera companies such as the Netherlands Opera, Frankfurt Opera and Opera National de Paris, Murphy has revisited her goal to be a teacher. She is now an adjunct professor of practice at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music.