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News from the Dean: November 2013

November 2013

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Each issue of our bimontly e-newsletter typically ends with a “thank you,” because we are truly grateful for everything our alumni and friends do for the College of Arts and Architecture. This month, however, gratitude is taking center stage. As we reach the end of our 50th anniversary year, we appropriately focus on the many ways you—and our faculty, staff, and students—have contributed to the college, helping us expand and evolve into the vibrant, thriving institution we are today.

Following are some recent examples:

  • Thank you to Landscape Architecture alumnus Mark Focht, newly sworn-in president of the American Society of Landscape Architects, for visiting campus in October to give a lecture and mingle with students and faculty during a special reception. It was a wonderful networking and professional development opportunity for Stuckeman School students.
  • Thank you to the Gray family—including School of Visual Arts alumna Jean Mitchell Gray and current College of Arts and Architecture student Maggie Gray—for establishing not one, but two Trustee Scholarships. Parents John and Jean Gray are not Penn State alumni, but John says they want to support the school that supports their kids. Additionally, Jeannie and Maggie have made an extraordinary commitment to supporting THON, helping raise tens of millions of dollars for pediatric cancer patients and their families. 
  • Thank you to the many donors who have helped fund our musical theatre program, which is now ranked among the top ten in the country. And thanks to the designers, directors, cast, and crew of Guys and Dolls, Penn State Centre Stage’s most recent musical, which wowed audiences in every performance. It’s easy to forget, while experiencing the professional caliber of our musical productions, that the cast and production team is primarily made up of students—students who clearly have bright futures ahead of them! No wonder we have a nearly 90 percent placement rate in professional theatre when students leave here to go into the “biz.”
  • Thank you to Pieter and Lida Ouwehand, who recently established an endowment designated toward classical music programming and other activities at the Center for the Performing Arts. People like the Ouwehands keep the arts alive and thriving in central Pennsylvania.
  • Thank you to Rob Fenza, Penn State Distinguished Alumnus, who has so capably led our college’s capital campaign efforts to raise more than $100,000,000 for the future of our students in Arts and Architecture.  He personally has given funds to help recruit talented students in music, as well as those in design-related fields.    

Needless to say, there are more—many more examples of how our alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and students make the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture a very special place. Our college “family” is made up of people who are not only creative and talented, but also thoughtful, generous, caring, and truly committed to nurturing the arts in their hometowns, in their workplaces, and beyond. As Shakespeare wrote: 

I can no other answer make but thanks
And thanks, and ever thanks.

Because of people like you, it’s truly a joy to serve as dean of this college.

Warmest wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season spending time with the people you love.

Barbara O. Korner

Dean Korner's bio