Helping Young People Thrive
Paul Harvey left his estate to RISD to ensure that future generations of students can learn about art and design.
Paul Harvey enrolled at RISD as a veteran in September 1948. Although he stayed for just two years before transferring elsewhere to pursue a career in commercial art, RISD made a significant impact on him—so much so that he left his estate to the college to endow a scholarship. While he was not wealthy, he managed to do something extraordinary—his scholarship fund is one of the top ten largest at RISD.
According to his financial advisor, Jim Caroll, Harvey felt a “deep pull about the idea of helping young people who deserved a chance and were not always able to get opportunities,” and was unwavering in his bequest.
Harvey was an artist and illustrator who spent his advertising career in New York as a designer and television commercial director. In the mid-1960s, he left New York to study painting in Mexico before returning to the United States in the late 1960s to work as a self-employed illustrator. He did work for a variety of clients, including Xerox, IBM, Aetna Insurance, CBS, NBC, ABC, Simon & Schuster, and Houghton Mifflin, among others.
He was also an illustrator of children’s books. Some of his published credits include Clever Cat, Jake’s Cake Mistake, Hats!, Natasha, Pig in a Wig and AlphaTales. He earned over fifty national and international awards serving accounts for advertising, publishing and animation during his decades-long career. In October 2000, Harvey was one of several artists included in an exhibition at the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan, Connecticut. Among the other artists in the exhibition were Mari Gyorgyey 86 PT and Tony Woolner BArch 68. A resident of Westport, Connecticut, Harvey stated on several occasions that even though he transferred, “his heart has always been with RISD.”
First-year student Baran Shafiey is the inaugural recipient of the Paul Harvey Scholarship. “I decided to apply as an early decision applicant because I knew that RISD would be the perfect school for me,” she says. “RISD is where I see myself taking the last few steps towards becoming the professional artist I’ve always aspired to be.”
Although just beginning her first year in Experimental and Foundation Studies, Shafiey plans to major in Painting. “My biggest creative interest has always been texture. No matter what medium I use, I try to play with texture. The aroma of paint and wet brushes have become my favorite scent, and that first brush stroke on a blank canvas is now my biggest joy. I’m open to trying different media and taking all kinds of art classes, but painting will always bring me a sense of calm.”
Shafiey is grateful for the financial aid she is receiving from RISD. “Debt and financial issues can easily lead to severe mental and even physical struggles for students like myself. Although I knew that RISD was the perfect school for me, I was constantly worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle the expense. The Paul Harvey Scholarship gave me the opportunity to follow my passion. It made me feel worthy of attending such a wonderful school and gave me the confidence and financial help to become a professional artist.”
Cover image: Baran Shafiey’s sketchbook