A fierce advocate for the arts, alumna and Visiting Committee member Jennifer Dorre has funded a scholarship to support students in the West Virginia University School of Music.
A Dover, Delaware native, Dorre graduated from WVU in 1998. She then moved to New York City and began her career in fashion and retail, which has included roles at popular fashion brands Victoria’s Secret, David Yurman, Blue Nile, Sears and more.
“Even though I didn’t go into music as my profession, I gained great skills in my education for which the creative arts don’t get enough credit sometimes,” Dorre said. “Leadership, discipline and courage to perform and speak in front of people, a lot of people have to go through extra training throughout their career for these things, but I was well prepared for everything my career has thrown at me.”
Dorre can usually spot another creative arts major in her day-to-day life in the fashion and retail industry.
“The way that arts education makes you think, and the way it makes you plan and the way it makes you show up, are really powerful, translatable skills,” Dorre said. “Anytime I come across people that I think are really sharp in their field, I'll often ask them if they had some sort of arts background and nine times out of 10, they do. There's just something there that gives you an edge.”
That edge is one of the reasons Dorre finds such great value in funding the Jennifer N. Dorre Advancement of the Arts Scholarship.
“I’ve always felt a connection to education,” Dorre said. “I always knew I wanted my donation to go to scholarship because I’m passionate about the idea of helping people make their lives better.”
Her own experience at WVU, and the university’s commitment to its land-grant mission, made Dorre’s decision to give back to her alma mater that much easier.
“As a member of the Visiting Committee, I feel like I’ve had the opportunity to be extra connected to what’s going on at the College of Creative Arts and I have a great understanding of where my gift is going,” Dorre said. “It’s meaningful and and important to me and this gift really feels like the thread that ties me back to where I came from.”