Claremont Insider: CGU Scores Big

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

CGU Scores Big

Happy days in Claremont Graduate University's Art Department. CGU has received gifts totaling $2 million to fund the Roland Reiss Endowed Chair in Art. The money came primarily from CGU alumna Sally Hurt, but several other notables, including Claremont artist Karl Benjamin and his wife Beverly, contributed as well.

Here's CGU's press release:

Claremont Graduate University celebrates creation of Roland Reiss Endowed Chair in Art

CLAREMONT, CA -- Claremont Graduate University has secured $2 million in gifts to establish the Roland Reiss Endowed Chair in Art.

The endowment, named in honor of former CGU Art Department Chair Roland Reiss, will fund a senior level faculty position in the department. The chair holder will be supported by a significant fund to aid in research and teaching activities.

"The establishment of the Roland Reiss Endowed Chair in Art strengthens what is already one of the premiere graduate art programs in the nation," said CGU interim President Joseph C. Hough, Jr. "This generous endowment allows the program to continue to attract and retain a creative and energetic faculty, with students as the ultimate beneficiary. All of us at Claremont Graduate University are grateful to those whose generosity made this chair possible."

The bulk of the funding for the endowment comes from Sally Hurt, a generous alumna and former student of Reiss. She created a $1 million challenge grant to encourage other donors and alumni to support the effort.

Significant gifts also came from Karl and Beverly Benjamin, Peggy Phelps and Robert B. Egelston, a long-time supporter of the arts and former trustee of CGU.

A professor will be appointed to the endowed chair post in the coming months.

“It’s wonderful to have an endowed chair that honors Roland Reiss,” said Janet Farell Brodie, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities. “He is a gifted teacher who was beloved by the students. He was a major force in creating the department that exists today.”

Reiss, a distinguished artist, teacher, and scholar, enjoyed a prolific career at CGU from 1971 to 2001.

Under his leadership, the university's art department emerged as an exceptional, nationally ranked program. CGU’s masters of fine arts (MFA) students are on the leading edge of techniques and theory, and the university’s alumni are artists of global prominence.

CGU’s Art program offers MFA degrees in studio disciplines including drawing, painting, photography, video, performance art, installation, and sculpture. Students in the program have the freedom to design a curriculum that meets their individual, expressive, and conceptual needs.

The university will celebrate the Roland Reis Endowed Chair in Art Sept. 10-12 with a weekend of gallery shows and receptions in Claremont and Pomona.

About Claremont Graduate University

Founded in 1925, Claremont Graduate University is one of the top graduate schools in the United States. Our nine academic schools conduct leading-edge research and award masters and doctoral degrees in 22 disciplines. Because the world’s problems are not simple nor easily defined, diverse faculty and students research and study across the traditional discipline boundaries to create new and practical solutions for the major problems plaguing our world. A Southern California based graduate school devoted entirely to graduate research and study, CGU boasts a low student-to-faculty ratio.
If you're interested in attending this weekend's events commemorating the Roland Reiss Endowed Chair, here's the schedule:

Familiar Grounds: Celebrating Roland Reiss and Art at CGU


6 p.m.-8 p.m.: Roland Reiss: Selections from the 1960s

Reception for the artist and CGU alumni
Andi Campognone Projects
300 W. Second Street, Pomona

8 p.m.-10 p.m.: For Roland
Pre-view CGU alumni reception
Short program at 8 p.m.
Bunny Gunner Gallery

266 W. Second Street, Pomona

6 p.m.- 10 p.m.: Prelude To An Apocalypse: Landscape in an Era of Diminished Expectations
Special preview reception. Works by Lisa Adams
(MFA 1980), Wendell Gladstone (MFA 1998) and Greg Rose (MFA 1997)
Pedersen Projects
396 S. Thomas Street, Pomona


11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Art Department Open House

2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.: Panel discussion, “Art at CGU
Art Department faculty and guests; Art Department Chair Michael Brewster, moderator
Claremont Graduate University, Burkle Building, Room 16
1021 N. Dartmouth Avenue, Claremont

4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.: “Running off the Edge
Q & A between Roland Reiss and Christopher Miles (chair of the Department of Art at California State
University, Long Beach). Special guests: Dr. Jeanne Willette, former CGU art history professor; John Gordon (MFA 1973); David Wells (MFA 1987). Claremont Graduate University, Burkle Building, Room 16
1021 N. Dartmouth Avenue, Claremont

6 p.m.-9 p.m.: Roland Reiss, Flora: Recent Paintings, A Garden for Sally
Reception for the artist and alumni event

Claremont Graduate University, East and Peggy Phelps Galleries

251 E. 10th Street, Claremont


Noon: Navigating Boulder: Connecting with Roland Reiss
Opening reception. Works by University of Colorado graduates, faculty & visiting artists Joe Clower, Merion Estes, Judith Hudson, Connie Jenkins, Tom Jenkins, Joan Moment, Jim Richard, Clark Richert, and William T. Wiley

Andi Campognone Projects/OBJCT Gallery

536 W. First Street (in the packing house), Claremont