RISD Campus by George Gray
May 2024

A Legacy in the Making

Through a bequest and a new leadership position, Jill Groeber 96 GD pays it forward. 

Jill Groeber

Collaboration, support and sharing. Those traits, says Jill Groeber 96 GD, become ingrained at RISD, starting with Experimental and Foundation Studies, where first-year students are often in a group environment, learning how to critique each other in full. 

“Our first-year foundation was all about presenting work, supporting each other and making our deadlines,” Groeber says. “I think that the nature of being at RISD is sharing knowledge and solving problems. I can’t say I went into RISD with that sort of mindset, but now I see a problem, and I think ‘Let me solve it.’ I have a deep gratitude for my education at RISD and my time there.” 

Since graduating, the Brooklyn-based Groeber has stayed close to RISD, through work—she counts numerous RISD alums as former colleagues at places like Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and often meets RISD graduates through her creative agency Studio A2—friendships and volunteering. 

Groeber’s volunteerism honors the knowledge-sharing ethos instilled in her undergraduate days. Through her involvement with the alumni affinity group RISD Founders and Entrepreneurs, she networks and shares ideas with other RISD alums who have founded their own studios, businesses or organizations, and is among the group that earlier-career students and recent graduates can tap for mentorship. As a member of the leadership team of the RISD Alumni Club of New York City, she has helped build a robust community who support thoughtful dialogue and connection through events like exhibitions, artist talks, book drives and more. If she meets a recent RISD alum at a photo-shoot, she makes a point to talk with them about their experiences and helps them plug into the resources the larger NYC-based RISD community can offer. 

“I wanted to leave a legacy gift. I can’t necessarily give now, but I definitely could give later, and the Metcalf Society allows me to do that.”
Jill Groeber 96 GD

Groeber was thinking about her own connection to RISD when she learned about the Jesse + Helen Rowe Metcalf Society at a RISD event. The Metcalf Society comprises donors who have incorporated the college and/or museum into their estate plans. 

Estate planning can be a strange topic to broach, Groeber says, because it asks people to think about their end-of-life plans, and the legacy they want to leave. As a superstitious person herself, she says, it can be difficult to think about creating a will, but the Metcalf Society provides people who know they want to support RISD in perpetuity with community and a shared purpose. 

“I wanted to leave a legacy gift,” Groeber says. “I can’t necessarily give now, but I definitely could give later, and the Metcalf Society allows me to do that.” 

Ever the volunteer, Groeber did not simply join the Metcalf Society by making a bequest in support of a scholarship through the Jill Groeber (96 GD) Fund; she will also be the Metcalf Society chair beginning July 1, 2024, as outgoing Chair Jutta-Annette Page PhD MAE 86 concludes her three-year term. 

Looking ahead, Groeber is eager to work with Page on the leadership transition, think about broad goals, use her graphic design and communications expertise to reach the RISD community where they are and ask the classic RISD question: how can I innovate? 

“Always in the back of my head I think about offering up more opportunities for people who might not be able to have them,” Groeber says. “I’m so glad there’s a way I can help the college now with my time and later, with money.” 

With Gratitude 

Jutta Page

The RISD community extends its heartfelt thanks to Jutta-Annette Page PhD MAE 86, who has led the Metcalf Society for a three-year period during which planned gifts to RISD have grown markedly. 

Page, who grew up in Germany, studied jewelry design and art history and had a long career as a glass and decorative arts curator. Shortly before taking the helm of the Metcalf Society in 2021, she retired from her role as the founding director of the Barry Art Museum at Old Dominion University. 

Through a bequest, Page will endow a scholarship fund supporting international students. As chair of the Metcalf Society, she focused on making planned giving accessible to all, regardless of income. 

“Giving back and paying forward are both a privilege and an obligation. The arts are notoriously underfunded, though their value and importance to society has been demonstrated time and again,” she says. “Supporting RISD ensures the continuation of unique educational opportunities for future generations of art students.” 

We thank Page for her generosity, dedication and service on behalf of creating a strong future for the college and museum. 

To learn more about the Jesse + Helen Rowe Metcalf Society and planned giving at RISD, please contact Amy Duffell, senior planned giving officer, at 401 277-4968 or aduffell@risd.edu


RISD Campus by George Grey. Jutta-Annette Page PhD MAE 86 by Chuck Thomas, ODU, Norfolk, VA courtesy of the Barry Art Museum.