Art historians Bernie and Cookie Schultz of Morgantown, who are long-time members of the West Virginia University community with close ties to the College of Creative Arts and the Honors College, have established a $25,000 Planned Gift through the WVU Foundation to support the Art Museum of WVU.
The gift, a bequest from their estate, will support the museum’s educational programs for students of all ages, as well as its many changing exhibitions.
“We are thrilled to see what the Art Museum is bringing to WVU and our Morgantown community,” the Schultzes said. “Already it has become a major cultural and educational resource for everyone, from young students to senior citizens.
“Our planned gift is a way of helping to ensure the continuing vitality of the arts at our University and in our hometown.”
Both the Schultzes are Art Museum docents and work closely with the museum’s educational programs; they are members of the Friends of the Art Museum, a group for people who enjoy social, educational, and cultural activities revolving around art.
They have established two previous endowments at WVU, including a Student Travel Fund in the College of Creative Arts and a Library Purchase Fund.
“Bernie and Cookie have a great enthusiasm for art that inspires our students as well as museum visitors and friends,” said Art Museum Director Joyce Ice. “Everyone who visits the museum comes away with an experience that is enhanced by their interactions with Bernie and Cookie. Now, because of their generous and thoughtful gift, the high quality of the exhibitions and educational programs—for which the Museum has become known—will be sustained into the future.”
Mary Louise “Cookie” Soldo Schultz has had a career in education for more than 40 years and retired last year from the WVU Honors College. With the opening of the Art Museum, she returned to teach a new course at WVU, which she created, titled “Meet Me at the Museum.” She is known as a published scholar on the art of nationally known artist Blanche Lazzell.
She is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the West Virginia Humanities Council. She recently received a Mark Twain Studies Fellowship-in-Residence at Quarry Farm, Elmira, New York, in preparation for a forthcoming children’s book on Mark Twain. She has also become known in the region as the author of the children’s book, Tobias: The Mouse in the Old Stone House, which is the first in a series of books to help young people learn about the history of Morgantown.
Bernie Schultz served as dean of the College of Creative Arts and director of the Creative Arts Center from 2000 to 2011. He has been professor of Art History in the WVU School of Art and Design for the past 39 years and is co-author of Art Past, Art Present, an acclaimed introductory Art History textbook, recently published in its 6th revised edition.
He was directly involved in the planning of the new Art Museum when he was dean of the College of Creative Arts. After stepping down as dean, he served as the museum’s director of Education and External Affairs from 2011 to 2014. He has been recognized by WVU as a distinguished teacher and received the Neil S. Bucklew Award for Social Justice at WVU in 1997. He was honored with the Governor’s Award for Leadership and Service in the Arts for the State of West Virginia in 2006 and was named to the West Virginia Commission on the Arts by Governor Joe Manchin in 2009.
The Bernie and Cookie Schultz Planned Gift to the Art Museum of WVU was made in conjunction with “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University” which runs through December 2017.
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
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