Claremont Graduate University receives $2 million for Roland Reiss Endowed Chair in Art

The university will celebrate the Roland Reis Endowed Chair in Art Sept. 10-12 with a weekend of events in Claremont and Pomona entitled Familiar Grounds: Celebrating Roland Reiss and Art at CGU.
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Sept. 7, 2010 - PRLog -- 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 pledged a $1 million challenge grant to encourage other donors and alumni to support the effort.

“I did my MFA at Claremont Graduate University when I was in my mid 50s, a bit more ‘mature’ than most of the other students,” Hurt said. “And Roland Reiss was such an inspiration, the first time I had a teacher so close to my age. Sometimes I didn't realize how big a help he was when I needed it; but when he looked at my work and talked about it, just as if I were a student of the usual age, I learned a lot as did the others - and what a help that was. He's a great teacher!"

Significant gifts also came from Karl and Beverly Benjamin, Peggy Phelps , Priscilla and Ferdinand Fernandez, Marilyn and Tom Sutton, 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 events in Claremont and Pomona.

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

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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.
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