WMU Home > About WMU > WMU News

WMU News

College of Fine Arts receives Governor's Award

Nov. 16, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's College of Fine Arts is one of a select few Michigan artists and arts organizations being honored this month with a Governor's Award for Arts and Culture.

The college has won the annual "Guvvy" award in the category of arts education and will be honored at a Nov. 29 gala at the newly remodeled Detroit Institute of Arts. The award to WMU recognizes the College of Fine Arts for "demonstrating extraordinary student and educator support and commitment to advancing arts education," according to ArtServe Michigan, which coordinates the annual awards program, now in its 22nd year.

"The Governor's Awards for Arts and Culture embody the spirit of creativity and innovation that is Michigan's legacy," says Gov. Jennifer Granholm. "The awards are an opportunity to showcase how Michigan artists, arts educators, cultural organizations and their supporters foster the inventiveness and originality that is critical to Michigan."

A total of 12 awards will be presented at the Nov. 29 event. Six of the awards, including the one to WMU, were recently announced by ArtServe. The remaining six will be announced at the celebration. Charles Elliott, a longtime supporter of the college and a Kalamazoo area arts advocate, nominated WMU's fine arts college for this year's award.

"The College of Fine Arts at WMU has a public mission to elevate the human condition through the arts," says Dr. Margaret Merrion, dean of the college. "This award affirms that we are achieving our mission with distinction. All of us--our outstanding leadership team, talented faculty, dedicated staff, serious students, accomplished alumni and philanthropic community--are grateful for the recognition."

Past recipients of Michigan's "Guvvy" awards include playwright Arthur Miller; author Elmore "Dutch" Leonard; actors James Earl Jones and Lily Tomlin; filmmakers Jerry Bruckheimer and Lawrence Kasdan; jazz violinist Regina Carter; and Motown icons Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson and the Four Tops. In addition to WMU, award recipients this year include Michigan native Sam Raimi, who will receive the International Achievement Award. A director, producer, writer and actor, Raimi is best know for his "Evil Dead" film series and, most recently, for three highly successful "Spiderman" films.

Dr. John M. Dunn, president of WMU, will accept the "Guvvy" award on behalf of the University at the gala. Also attending will be WMU trustees, college officials and major supporters of the college.

Major sponsors of the 22nd Annual Governor's Awards for Arts and Culture are JP Morgan Chase Bank, Comerica Bank, DTE Energy Foundation, Ford Motor Co. Fund, General Motors Corp. Foundation, Masco Corp. Foundation, Skidmore Studio and Pegasus Theatricals. Additional information about the awards and this year's gala is available at www.artservemichigan.org.

WMU's College of Fine Arts consists of the Gwen Frostic School of Art, Department of Dance, School of Music and the Department of Theatre. All of these academic units are nationally accredited, making the college one of only six such colleges in the nation to have all disciplines accredited by their respective professional organizations. The college, which is internationally renowned in such areas as jazz studies, has a highly selective admissions status. Its entering students have the highest grade point averages and ACT scores among the University's freshmen.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400