Moore College Lands Its Single Largest Gift

The Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia, Pa., received the largest donation in its 170-year history. The $5-million gift from New York artist Jane Walentas and her husband, David, will fund scholarships for artists at the nation’s first and only visual art and design school for undergraduate women.

The scholarships will be part of the Visionary Woman Honors Program, which provides “financial support and sustained mentorship to talented, motivated and future-focused students, both inside and outside the classroom,” according to a press release announcing the gift. Jane played an integral role in the launch of the Visionary Women Scholarship Program in 2005.

The endowment will provide scholarships each year to 10 non-Pennsylvania residents accepted to Moore who “display exceptional artistic and academic promise.” Each scholarship will be automatically renewed for up to four years of full-time enrollment with the upkeep of the student’s Grade Point Average (GPA). The first scholars will be chosen among students attending Moore for the first time this fall as part of the incoming class of 2023. The college will begin to award scholarships from the endowed fund in fall 2020.

A 1966 graduate of Moore College, Jane Walentas is a longtime member of the college’s board of trustees. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from New York University before many years as an art director in cosmetic advertising for Elizabeth Arden, Avon and Estee Lauder.

Walentas is known for restoring and operating Jane’s Carousel, a historic 1922 carousel in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood, an area developed by her husband through his firm, Two Trees Management.

Walentas is executive director of the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, which awards rent-free, non-living studio space to 17 visual artists for year-long residences in DUMBO. The Walentas’ took over the program with new sponsorship and commitment from the Walentas Family Foundation.