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KENT -- Kent State University has received a $2.5 million gift for its Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising from the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation of Hudson, Ohio. The gift will fund two initiatives: $1.5 million to endow a chair to support the Fashion School's director and a matching grant of up to $1 million to support the study-away program benefiting fashion school students.
"This incredible gift from the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation will greatly enhance global experiences for our fashion students," said Kent State President Beverly Warren. "The foundation's support of our Fashion School elevates the professional trajectory of both faculty and students and positions Kent State as a distinctive global innovator."
Kent State's Fashion School is consistently rated among the best fashion institutions in the United States and worldwide. It is currently ranked No. 3 in the U.S. for design and merchandising by Fashion-Schools.org and No. 19 in the world by The Business of Fashion's 2016 Global Fashion School Ranking.
A hallmark of an exceptional global university is providing life-changing experiences for its students to become globally competent leaders in their fields. Kent State's Fashion School is now the first in the country to require a study-away experience for all fashion students. Opportunities to spend a semester in Florence, Italy, with the world's best designers, work in the Fashion School's New York City Studio, and programs in Paris and Hong Kong provide life-changing experiences and a reputation for excellence that makes Kent State fashion students globally competitive.
"Peg Morgan, our founder, had a lifelong interest in fashion and always deeply valued education," said Rick Kellar, president of the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation. "The Fashion School at Kent State is a perfect match for her creative and personal passions. Peg's legacy of support for Kent State will continue to be carried out through this gift, accelerating the ascension of Kent State as the premier global educator of future fashion industry leaders."
The gift was formally announced by President Warren on April 29 at the 2017 Annual Fashion Show, FS2 Presented by Michael Kors Sponsor/VIP Show. The annual fashion show highlights the talents and creations of the Fashion School's design and merchandising students. Also that evening, Don Witkowski, a Kent State alumnus and president of men's at Michael Kors, was inducted into the Fashion School's Hall of Fame.