Anonymous alumna established a $5 million matching gift challenge to support and encourage additional fundraising.
As Lesley University moves through the planning process to build a new Arts Center in Cambridge, a generous alumna has established a $5 million matching gift challenge to support and encourage additional fundraising for this important university initiative.
The new Arts Center in Porter Square, Cambridge, will be the future home for The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, currently located in Kenmore Square in Boston. The complex will be constructed at the site of a historic church and adjacent to Lesley’s Graduate School of Education in University Hall, uniting all of Lesley’s schools on its three Cambridge campuses and providing access to galleries, year-round arts programming and Lesley’s arts library to the Porter Square and greater Cambridge communities.
The alumna’s generosity will, if successfully matched, bring the funding to 75% of the total construction cost. All gifts between now and November for the Arts Center will be matched by the donor up to $5 million. Lesley University currently is more than half way to its fundraising goal of $40 million for this project, and successfully completing this match will allow the university to start construction in spring 2013.
Lesley University is calling on all of its alumni and friends to accept the challenge and contribute to this important project for Lesley and for the Porter Square neighborhood while their gifts will be matched dollar for dollar. The new, state-of-the-art complex will increase the space for students to make, study and view art and will be the center of a vibrant new arts community.
“Since we began discussions about bringing AIB to our Cambridge campus, our alumni community has seen the benefits for the entire Lesley community – not just those studying at AIB, but all students and faculty engaged in using the power of the arts in education and healing,” said Joseph B. Moore, President of Lesley University. “Here we have a donor who sees how fully integrating AIB and the arts into Lesley’s Cambridge campus opens new doors and creates new opportunities for students and the greater community. She is calling on Lesley and AIB alumni and friends and all those who support the arts and arts education to join her in making this Arts Center a reality.”
Lesley graduates and trustees Deborah Raizes and Carol Moriarty, who also have made million dollar and above gifts to the Arts Center, are grateful for this alumna’s leadership philanthropy.
“I’m deeply proud and appreciative that another alumna so touched by her experience at Lesley has made such a generous commitment to the university and its future students,” said Raizes. “The generosity of Lesley alumni – people who graduated many years prior to the merger with AIB – speaks to the value of the arts embedded in Lesley’s tradition and the importance of the arts in the education of our undergraduate and graduate students.”
Carol Moriarty added, “It’s exciting to look ahead to a new facility for the arts and Lesley’s Art Institute of Boston in Porter Square, where this vibrant community of artists can share their work with the larger university community and all those who live and work in Cambridge and beyond.”
AIB merged with Lesley University in 1998, expanding offerings to students throughout both institutions. This fall marks the 100th anniversary for The Art Institute of Boston, and AIB’s Centennial will mark the beginning of a new era for the school in Cambridge.
Dean Stan Trecker of The Art Institute of Boston noted that, “This new arts complex will add to AIB’s growing stature as a leading school of the visual arts in the United States and will dramatically enhance our ability to train tomorrow’s artists and designers.” He also said, “Since becoming a part of Lesley University, the benefits to AIB students have been tremendous – from greatly expanded academic opportunities through the other three schools at Lesley to joining in the larger university in student life and residence life, to becoming part of a community of learners that places a real value on the arts as a core part of its educational mission.”
The donor of this matching gift challenge wishes to remain anonymous during the match period. For more information or to contribute, click here.
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