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Spartan Marching Band director to retire, effective August

June 16, 2017
<p>An investigation&nbsp;into sexual harassment&nbsp;by Spartan Marching Band director John T. Madden&nbsp;with the Office of Institutional Equity began&nbsp;on February 29, 2016.&nbsp;It was determined Madden's conduct toward the student was unwelcome behavior of sexual nature.</p>

An investigation into sexual harassment by Spartan Marching Band director John T. Madden with the Office of Institutional Equity began on February 29, 2016. It was determined Madden's conduct toward the student was unwelcome behavior of sexual nature.

Spartan Marching Band Director and MSU professor John T. Madden will retire from the Spartan Marching Band and the university on Aug. 16, according to an email sent to members of the Spartan Marching Band.  

The email was sent by the Dean of the College of Music James Forger on June 16.

David Thornton, previously assistant director of bands and associate director of the Spartan Marching Band, was appointed as the new Spartan Marching Band director effective June 14. He will lead the band in the upcoming season.

Madden, who graduated from MSU’s College of Music in 1985, served as director for 28 years. During his tenure, Madden led the band in a Rose Bowl and two Cotton Bowl Classic games, in addition to countless other sporting events including the NCAA Tournament National Championship game in 2000 and 2009. 

Before he came to MSU to serve as director, Madden worked with Wichita State University Bands and briefly served as Associate Director of Bands and Director of the Marching Band at Rutgers University.  

He serves on the Michigan Chair of the College Band Directors National Association and the Big Ten Band Directors Association, among others.

He oversaw the MSU fight song's name change from “MSU Fight Song” to “Victory For MSU” in 2015.

In April 2016, MSU’s Office of Institutional Equity conducted an investigation and found Madden violated RVSM policy and sexually harassed a student in February 2016. Madden's disciplinary actions included: "a one-week suspension from May 27 to June 3, 2016, where Madden was not allowed to be on campus or represent MSU in any capacity, a delay of his promotion to a full-time professor until Oct. 1, 2016 and a ban from the 2017 Huddle."

“We look forward to the coming season and to advancing the excellence, standards, and traditions of the Spartan Marching Band under the leadership of Dr. Thornton,” Forger said via email.

MSU spokesperson Jason Cody confirmed Madden’s retirement and Thornton’s new role via text message.

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