I met Dr. Ward on only two occasions - one was a UNCSA student visit to his residence at Duke, another - his final appearance as pianist at UNCSA. On both, I was stunned by his tremendous erudition and the ease with which he picked up the conversation about the most obscure musical topics. His memory seemed superhuman. He would refer to a single CD among thousands on his shelves, and make remarks about the specific moments he liked on that record...
He was the person, the artist, the teacher I think we should all strive to become - an intellectual with a true passion for more knowledge, and at the same time exuding such warmth and simplicity about him as to put his students completely at ease. His horizons were so exceptionally wide, and yet he knew how to not overwhelm, "luring" the listener instead into these marvelous places his intellect had allowed him to see.
His legacy will live on in the hearts of these many students, colleagues and friends whose passion for learning and inquiry he helped ignite. We at UNC School of the Arts are lucky to have been touched by him.