When the State of Minds campaign wrapped up on Dec. 31, 2017, more than $1 billion had been raised thanks to the incredibly giving and dedicated West Virginia University family.
The College of Creative Arts raised approximately $23 million during the 10-year campaign which created more than 50 new scholarships, built and opened the Art Museum of WVU, launched four new programs and many new majors in the college and started an extensive study abroad program in the School of Art & Design.
We brought together some of our most passionate donors on June 2 for an evening in the Mesaros Galleries at the Creative Arts Center. It was an evening that celebrated and highlighted the work you have done to strengthen the arts at WVU. First, our donors had the opportunity to tour the Art Museum of WVU or enjoy a performance by the Miltenberger Jazz Group. A jazz ensemble performed during the reception, while School of Art & Design faculty and graduate students outfitted the galleries with their best works. Pottery students provided gifts for our guests and West Virginia Public Theatre, in partnership with the School of Theatre & Dance, provided after-dinner entertainment with their production of “Peter and the Starcatcher.”
It was a night to celebrate and reflect, but most importantly, to say thank you to our biggest donors and champions.
“Nothing short of life-changing generosity has been bestowed upon the College of Creative Arts from those in this room tonight,” said Dean Keith Jackson during his remarks on June 2. “Thank you, to each and every one of you, for your support. You keep us inspired and hopeful.”
Dean Jackson noted that for many of our donors, their gifts are personal. Whether a gift supports music, theatre or visual arts, it is always inspired by a passion and deep-seated love of the arts and an understanding of their absolute necessity in today’s society.
“You are the ones who understand the importance of arts in our society,” Jackson said. “You are the ones who understand that our state and region need the arts, and you are the ones who understand that the arts are the best way to understand our shared culture.”
Dean Jackson also spoke to the future, and dreams of an expanded and updated Creative Arts Center to better serve the ever-growing number of students deciding to pursue an arts education at WVU.
“When this building was completed in 1968 – 50 years ago – the intended capacity was 300 students,” Jackson said. “We are now well over 800 enrolled students. We are going to continue to grow this College through innovative programming and enrollment, and we need a facility that supports that growth.”
“We need you now, more than ever, to believe in what this college means to our students, our university and our state. As the land grant institution of West Virginia, we have to accept the responsibility for the generations that will follow. Together, we can keep our students of today and tomorrow dreaming big and reaching for the stars.