The School of the Arts has announced a $2 million gift to endow the Andrew Fisher Fellowship Fund to support distinction in the visual arts. The Fund will provide fellowships to graduate students enrolled in the school's master of fine arts program who display excellence in their discipline. The gift from Emily Fisher Landau and Richard L. Fisher, Law'60, commemorates Andrew Fisher, their grandson and son respectively, who died at the age of 22 in a car accident in 2003.
"Andrew was on his way to becoming an accomplished artist," said Richard L. Fisher, "so it is entirely appropriate we remember Andrew and honor the spirit of his artistic ambitions through this gift to Columbia."
The donation, one of the largest ever to the School, will help build momentum toward the launch of a university-wide fundraising campaign in support of scholarships, professorships and other key areas. Once the endowment reaches maturity, it will support approximately $100,000 worth of scholarships each year.
"At Columbia, one of our main focuses is the creation of new ideas, and our Arts students are vital contributors to this important mission," said Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University. "This generous gift from the Fisher family will help us further support these students and their creative contributions to our community and the City."
Each spring, a committee of faculty members appointed by the dean of the School of the Arts will select the awardees. The annual grant will be awarded to students beginning in 2006.
"Despite the sad circumstance that this extraordinary gift marks, it is with great pride and honor that the School of the Arts accepts this endowment to be named after Andrew Fisher," said Dean Bruce W. Ferguson.
"The generosity of Richard and Emily ensures a legacy of young emerging artists in the visual arts for generations to come who will fulfill the dreams and ambitions of Andrew and his family," added Dan Kleinman, acting dean of the School of the Arts while Ferguson is on sabbatical. "I appreciate their sensitivity in creating this responsible gift and this wonderful opportunity, and thank them on behalf of the School and its students."