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Advancement News

Fashion School Receives $1 Million Grant

Posted Dec. 1, 2008
Fashion School show

The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation on Nov. 24 formally presented Kent State University with a $1 million grant in support of the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising.

The grant, payable in equal installments over the next 10 years, will fund a portion of the school’s directorship. The funds will provide support for the current director and will be a valuable tool for recruiting future school leaders. It is among the largest gifts ever awarded to the Fashion School.

“Mrs. Morgan and her late husband, Burt, became leading advocates for the Fashion School at its inception,” Kent State President Lester A. Lefton says. “This latest gift from the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation illustrates a deep understanding of the priorities that will help the school to continue to soar in excellence. Support of the directorship allows us to maintain the outstanding leadership begun during Elizabeth Rhodes’ tenure.”

The foundation’s grant is the latest in a series that have provided significant support for the school.

“We look for world-class quality leadership that allows us to leverage our grant-investments, and Elizabeth is clearly one of those exceptional leaders of vision,” says Rick Kellar, Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation president. “We are delighted to recognize her legacy impact on the School of Fashion, and are enthusiastic partners in the next phase of the school’s growth and excellence.”

“When the Fashion School at Kent was announced, Peg decided she would make a fashion design career possible for young students, and she established the largest endowed scholarship program in the school. Her generosity and the generosity of her foundation have helped the school grow to be recognized as one of the most outstanding fashion-education programs in the nation,” school Director Elizabeth Rhodes says.
Previously, Margaret Clark Morgan and the foundation have provided significant support for scholarships; the Fashion School’s NYC Studio; and Portfolio, the school’s annual student fashion show. A technology endowment, funded by Morgan at more than $1 million, has provided for the majority of computers and technology at the school. The Burton D. and Margaret C. Morgan Wing in Rockwell Hall was dedicated in 2007.