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$10 Million Donation to DAAP Supports Next Generation of Academic Excellence


Alumni Cathy and Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, have just pledged a major gift to the University of Cincinnati’s top-ranked College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.

Date: 4/30/2007 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Provided by JCPenney, and Andrew Higley

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Development and support for faculty and students in the University of Cincinnati’s internationally recognized College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) will increase significantly thanks to a just-announced gift of $10 million from alumni  Myron E. (Mike) Ullman III, a 1969 graduate of the College of Business, and his wife, Cathy Emmons Ullman, a 1970 graduate of DAAP.

Mike Ullman
Myron E. (Mike) Ullman III

Mr. Ullman, chairman and chief executive officer of JCPenney, sits on the UC Foundation Board, and he once served as Vice President of Business Affairs at UC, from 1976-1981. Mr. and Mrs. Ullman met as undergraduates at the university and were married in June 1969.

The Ullmans’ gift will support DAAP’s School of Design and will endow a program chair, endow professorships and support faculty development as well as provide technology support and “master” classes – led by industry leaders – for students.

UC President Nancy L. Zimpher expressed her thanks to the Ullmans, “The University of Cincinnati is truly grateful to have the generous support of Mike and Cathy Ullman. This significant gift is the latest in their long record of dedication to UC and sets a solid foundation for our future comprehensive campaign.”

“We are honored to receive this generous gift from Mike and Cathy Ullman to support the next generation of academic excellence in schools and programs throughout the university,” said Judith Koroscik, dean of UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.

“Thanks to the Ullmans, students in our internationally renowned design school will benefit from enhanced access to industry-standard technologies and expertise. They will have new opportunities to learn and be inspired by the ‘masters’ of design and business; and most importantly, the gift will enable us to become even more competitive in recruiting and retaining outstanding professors – the  single most important benefit to our students,” she added.

Steve Peck, Liz Bruemmer and Jamie Clark
Graphic design student Steve Peck shows his work to fellow students Liz Bruemmer, center, and Jamie Clark, right.

Robert Probst, director of UC’s School of Design, agreed, adding, “We are grateful to our visionary donors for this gift of historic proportions to the School of Design. In an ever more complex design education, this support enables us to construct bridges to other disciplines and cultures. Our undergraduate design curricula in the areas of visual communication, industrial, and fashion design are based on a foundation of strong studio courses, balanced by meaningful professional-practice experiences, and are informed by research and discoveries on the graduate level. This gift from the Ullmans will be most beneficial in our continued effort to equip the next generation designers with the appropriate tools to create clear and effective communication, functional and sustainable products, innovative and safe transportation, as well as comfortable and beautiful clothing.”

“The university is of enormous importance to Cathy and me based on the outstanding educational experience it provided, as well as the friendships we have made through our longtime association with the UC community,” said Mr. Ullman. “We are both deeply committed to excellence and innovation in design and are delighted to support an institution that has established itself as a leader in the field on a global basis. Our objective in making this gift is to help foster an environment of inspiration for future generations of students at DAAP and to support its ongoing success.”

Mr. Ullman, who received an honorary degree when he spoke at the university’s 2006 commencement, has remained closely involved with UC throughout his career. Most recently, after joining JCPenney in 2004, Mr. Ullman spearheaded a program under which the company’s growing fashion design division works in partnership with the students in DAAP’s fashion design program as part of the professional practice (co-op) program that has played a substantial role in distinguishing DAAP among design schools worldwide.

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