By Gail Howland (PHOT ’04) and Dan Ashcraft (PROD ’73)
After two years of inspired leadership, Founders and Co-Chairs of Legacy Circle, Ramone Muñoz (ADVT ’77, MFA FINE ’90) and Stan Kong (PROD ’83), passed the baton to us in January 2009. We are steadfast in our commitment to positively impact Art Center College of Design and its talented students by fundraising exclusively for scholarships and focusing on the legacy of an Art Center education.
Established in 2006 to engage alumni and friends in making gifts to the College, Legacy Circle raises funds for scholarships to ensure that the next generation of leading designers and artists can attend Art Center regardless of their financial need. To date, members have contributed over $225,000 to the cause and pledged $800,000 in planned gifts.
Legacy Circle is playing an important role in the $20-million, three-year Campaign for Art Center: Phase II, which has surpassed 50 percent of its goal. Money raised for scholarships through Legacy Circle is counted toward the Campaign goal, and 100 percent of the funds are awarded to students. A recent highlight of our efforts is that the Joe and Rosa Farrer Scholarship reached the endowed level in December 2008. With the participation of more than 75 contributors, the fund has exceeded $55,000 in donations, and the scholarship was recently awarded to its first student, Strahan McMullen.
Especially during these difficult economic times, Art Center students depend on the existence of scholarships to finance their educations, making our group’s mission more critical than ever. To that end, we are committed to engaging a broader constituency and increasing the number of alumni participating in Legacy Circle. We are reaching out to a wider range of alumni with events in major cities around the world with the intention of connecting with alumni who are dedicated to helping our cause and who want to stay personally involved with the College.
Committee members Kristen Ding (GRPH ’94), Katie Sprague (GRPH ’91) and Helen Sun (GRPH ’95) are refocusing our message through a new Legacy Circle Branding Campaign to deliver our story through the eyes of scholarship students and alumni. In addition, Committee members Leah Hoffmitz (HON.ALUM) and Gloria Kondrup (MFA GRPH ’93) have been meeting with students and developing programming that will allow us to connect with recent graduates and current students. The welcome breakfast for new students at the summer orientation was hosted by Legacy Circle, and Thom Meredith GRPH ’04 spoke of his connection to Legacy Circle and highlighted alumni efforts on behalf of students.
One of our committee members, Ophelia Chong (FAPT’89), has created two initiatives to assist alumni. RE/Source is a collaborative alumni group that meets bi-weekly at South Campus to discuss the current job market and to build a network of fellow artists and designers. UN/Still Life is a collective of alumnae that meets once a month at South Campus to work on projects and share ideas. These groups are both supported by Alumni Relations and Art Center at Night/Continuing Studies and illustrate another way Legacy Circle members can be engaged in the Art Center community.
As always, Legacy Circle is a great way for alumni to come together and reconnect. In October 2008, Legacy Circle held a party hosted by Carolyn Watson and Gail Howland in Carolyn’s beautiful historic home in South Pasadena. Carolyn contributed to the development of Art Center’s European campus in Switzerland, and she shared memorable stories of designing the campus. Honored guests, former Art Center President Don Kubly and his wife, Sally, enjoyed a memorable evening with alumni, faculty, students and invitees from the local arts community.
Throughout 2009, Legacy Circle will continue to host gatherings for alumni and friends. Upcoming events include a donor party on June 18 hosted by Leonard Pate PROD ’77 in the Reges Residence at the Brewery, a celebration in memory of Ted Youngkin PROD ’54 on September 12, and a fall party scheduled for October.
If you are interested in joining, or would like more information about Legacy Circle, please contact Katherine Gfeller in the Office of Development at 626.396.4272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you at upcoming events!