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Cincinnati Couple Gives $2.8 Million
Carl And Martha Lindner Create Endowment For U.Va. Art History Program

March 4, 2004 -- Carl and Martha Lindner of Cincinnati have made a $2.8 million gift to the University of Virginia to support teaching and research in art history. By strengthening a program in the arts, the contribution helps the University meet one of its top priorities — making the fine and performing arts here among the best in the nation.

The Lindners, whose daughter Blake is a fourth-year art history major at U.Va., will create a permanent endowment for the art history program in U.Va.’s McIntire Department of Art. In recognition of the gift, and pending approval by the Board of Visitors, the area of the University Grounds occupied by the art history program will be named the Carl H. and Martha S. Lindner Center for Art History.

“Support of this magnitude from parents is a tremendous vote of confidence in the academic experience at the University. We are grateful for what this gift provides and what it represents,” said University President John T. Casteen III. “I am especially pleased that this endowment will help us fulfill one of our Virginia 2020 [long-range planning] goals, which is to place our programs in the fine and performing arts among the best in the nation.”

The new Lindner endowment fund will support both graduate and undergraduate study in art history, as well as faculty research initiatives and course development, according to Lawrence O. Goedde, chairman of the art department. The fund will also support the increasing use of digital technology in the teaching of art history, and it will make it possible to bring distinguished visiting scholars to the University for a semester or an academic year.

“One major use for the Lindner fund will be travel fellowships and language training for students going abroad,” Goedde said. “There is no substitute for experiencing art firsthand, and this requires visiting sites and collections in this country and overseas. The gift will also make it possible for art history classes to attend course-related exhibits and symposia, to visit museums, and to meet with curators.”

Co-president of American Financial Group Inc., a Fortune 500 company engaged primarily in insurance and other financial products, Carl Lindner said he and his wife were inspired to make the gift by their daughter’s experience in the art history program. They were particularly pleased to see how the global and historical perspectives that come from studying art history translate into real-world skills, which their daughter put to use in a White House internship.

“The professors and the program challenged our daughter and helped her to blossom academically, which has given her confidence in other areas of her life,” Lindner said. “We’ve also come to appreciate how the University reaches out to students and to their families.”

The Lindners have been active supporters of the arts and education in the Cincinnati area (Martha Lindner served on the board of the Cincinnati Children’s Theatre for many years), and they view their gift as a way to help propel the University’s highly regarded art history program to the top level among its peers. The program is known for its wide-ranging faculty expertise, which extends from classical art and archaeology to Renaissance and Baroque art to contemporary art. The faculty also includes distinguished scholars of American decorative arts and non-Western art.

“The program is a national gem that deserves attention,” Carl Lindner said.

In addition to receiving the Lindner gift, the University’s art history program will soon benefit from upgraded facilities. Fayerweather Hall, a 19th-century gymnasium that now houses both the studio art and art history programs, will be thoroughly renovated. The building and its environs will be devoted entirely to art history and will be encompassed by the Lindner Center.

The Fayerweather Hall renovation, made possible by $4.6 million from the general obligation bond approved by Virginia voters in November 2002, is scheduled to begin in June and be complete in 2006. The architect for the project is Dagit-Saylor of Philadelphia.

Contacts: Katherine Thompson Jackson, (434) 924-3629 or Emma Edmunds, (434) 924-3802

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-Nov-2005 10:41:03 EST
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