Celebrating an Enduring Friendship
Friends honor the legacy of former RISD president Roger Mandle by Supporting future generations of artists and designers.
A special group of alumni and parents who worked with Roger Mandle HD 09 during his presidency formed a close bond with him and Gayle Mandle MFA 97 PT/PR. Over time, their circle expanded to include their spouses. After Roger passed in late 2020, they decided to contribute to the Roger and Gayle Mandle Fellowship, which the Mandles established in 1998. The group’s generosity is one way they are paying tribute to Mandle’s leadership of RISD and their close friendship.
“Most of us first met Roger when he and Gayle came to Providence to assume the job as RISD’s president,” recalls Emeritus Trustee Bill Hammer BArch 65. “We were all immediately impressed by his sincerity and caring. He desired and was able to work across all of RISD’s constituencies, including the board, administration, faculty, staff and students and their parents.” They are heartened that the fellowship also celebrates the work of the student recipients—emerging art leaders who will forever be part of RISD—and that students receiving this support will learn about Mandle and his legacy.
“Under Roger’s leadership we think RISD became the best art education institution in the United States and one of the best in the world,” says fellow Emeritus Trustee Stuart Murphy 64 IL P 98. “Our RISD education was foundational to our careers. We who are parents of RISD graduates have seen that same result in our children. We want to provide these benefits and opportunities to today’s students and urge others to join us.”
The group understands that many deserving artists are unable to pursue graduate art education at RISD without financial aid. This is why they are committed to elevating the Mandle Fellowship as the newest entry in the prestigious Society of Presidential Fellows, which covers the full cost of a RISD graduate education and offers special programming and mentorship opportunities. The Mandle Fellowship has a preference for Painting students and will dramatically increase RISD’s competitiveness in recruiting top applicants
to the program.
Many in the group are eager to stay involved with RISD. "Some mentor students and recent graduates who are still finding their way,” says Hammer. “Being involved is a great opportunity to renew old friendships, make new ones, share the amazing experience of how RISD changed our lives and support RISD’s continued position as one of the premier art and design schools in the world.”
The group is encouraging the board of trustees to add to the fellowship and the Department of Painting is urging alumni to do the same. “Roger would have been incredibly moved by this generous outpouring of support for RISD graduate students,” says Gayle Mandle MFA 97 PT/PR. “Our family is deeply grateful to all those who are giving to the fellowship to ensure a bright future for RISD’s talented art and design students.”
RISD Friends of Roger Mandle
Anthony Belluschi BArch 66 P 95 and Marti Belluschi
Clara Dale BArch 75 and John Dale BArch 75
Dick Haining P 05, Trustee and Catherine Haining P 05
Bill Hammer BArch 65 and Nancy Hammer
Gayle Mandle MFA 97 PT/PR
Stuart Murphy 64 IL P 98 and Nancy Murphy P 98
Phil Tobey BArch 66 and Pam Tobey 68 AE
Patricia White 64 IL P 96