A Chappaqua, N.Y., couple dedicated to improving textile and design education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has furthered their commitment to students by creating a new faculty position in the Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design in the College of Human Resources and Family Sciences at UNL. Ardis and Robert Jamesesí most recent gift commitment will fund the Ardis James Professorship in Textiles, Clothing and Design. The income from the Jamesesí $250,000 commitment will be supplemented by a match from the Donald and Mildred Othmer estate, creating the equivalent of a $500,000 endowment.
This most recent gift from the James family allows us to endow a professorship supporting the scholarly study of quilts and textile arts, said James Moeser, UNL chancellor. We are closer to completing our vision of a world-class international center for the study of quilts, textiles and associated arts. The Jameses have been tremendously supportive of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and phenomenally generous in their willingness to help preserve the unique art form of quilting.
The textiles, clothing and design department in the college prepares students for a variety of careers in merchandising, textile and apparel design, textile science, museums and journalism. The recipient of the Ardis James Professorship will provide students with the educational framework needed for a career in the global textile and apparel industry or in business, government or museums.
The field of textiles is an important area of study and I hope this position will strengthen this department, said Ardis James. I am positive that the University will do an excellent job in selecting this professor so that all students and citizens of the state benefit from the study of textiles.
Dr. Patricia Crews, acting chair of the Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design and director of the International Quilt Study Center, explained that the college was very grateful for the Jamesesí ongoing support of textiles. The creation of the Ardis James Professorship enables us to recruit outstanding faculty members, which strengthen already excellent academic and research programs in the department, attract outstanding students to the field, further scholarship and creative activity to enhance our knowledge and appreciation of textile history and design, said Crews. Our textile heritage is attracting an outstanding textile scholar or artist, the endowed professorship also strengthens the International Quilt Study Center at the University.
The dean of the college will nominate the Ardis James Professor in Textiles, Clothing and Design, then the UNL chancellor and University of Nebraska president will recommend the nominee to the Board of Regents for final approval. The recipient will receive stipends for research or program efforts from the fund.
The Jameses have provided much support to the area of textiles at UNL. In 1997, the couple gave 950 antique and contemporary art quilts with an estimated worth of more than $6 million to the University and donated $1 million toward a $3 million endowment fund to establish the International Quilt Study Center. The center encourages the interdisciplinary study of all aspects of quilt making and fosters preservation of this tradition through the collection, conservation and exhibition of quilts and related materials. The centerís James Collection is one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of quilts in existence and features antique quilts dating from 1790 to 1992 from the United States, Europe and Japan.
The Jameses have offered so much support to the College of Human Resources and Family Sciences, said Dr. Rita Kean, interim dean of the college and professor of textiles, clothing and design. The James Collection and the International Quilt Study Center have immeasurably affected this college and the citizens of this state. Ardis and Robert James have a great understanding of the importance of textile education and have made a much appreciated impact on our students and faculty. We are pleased to accept their latest gift and express our sincere appreciation for their ongoing support.
The University of Nebraska Foundation is a non-profit corporation supplementing support for students, faculty, facilities and programs at the University of Nebraskaís four campuses through gifts from alumni, friends, corporations and other foundations.