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Kendall Alumni in the Big Apple and the Windy City

Posted January 17, 2012 in AlumniEvents

We know our alumni are all over the world, and I wish we could hold “News & Schmooze” events for everyone. But that is not to be, so I will share with you a recap of our last two events.

You can imagine my excitement when I was told we were invited by George Beylerian of Material ConneXion to hold the November News & Schmooze event in their Madison Avenue showroom in New York City. What a rare opportunity!

Two Kendall alumnae work in the Material ConneXion libraries. Lauren Mitus, a graduate of the Interior Design program started as an intern and worked her way into a staff position where she keeps all the materials organized and refreshed in showrooms in all parts on the world. Elizabeth Peterson, another Interior Design alum, is a library assistant at Material ConneXion. Both of these designers are truly inspired by their NYC surroundings and like that their positions are a creative extension to the typical path for interior designers.

A group of alumni and special guest Susan Szenasy, Editor-in-Chief of Metropolis magazine, filled the space with lively conversations, and Dr. Evans delivered a report on current Kendall facilities, faculty and functions. As we closed the event, George Beylerian gave a terrific tribute to Dr. Evans saying, “There are few people who have as distinctive a way of leading quietly.” It was a heartfelt moment for all of us, and a compliment that I’m sure Dr. Evans will never forget.

Although we were enjoying a mild winter in the midwest, we chose January 12, the day of Chicago’s first significant snowfall, for our Chicago gathering, held in the Kimball Office showroom and hosted by Kendall friend Georgy Olivieri, Director of Architecture and Design Strategies at Kimball. The showroom is close to the Merchandise Mart, where Kendall holds its annual immersive class at NeoCon. Four intrepid alumni, Dana Schmidt, part owner and manager of Black Cloud Gallery; Industrial Designer/Account Director at IA Collaborative Jeff Gershune; and Steelcase Interior Designers Meg Bennett O'Neil and Sara Timm (both from Grand Rapids, but in Chicago attending a seminar Friday morning), braved the weather and were treated to delicious hors d’oeuvres and great company.

As I mentioned earlier, Kendall cannot hold these events everywhere, so we’re introducing a program called "Kendall Alumni in 'Place'.” The idea is simple: alumni near or in cities where a large number of alumni live or work will be the local advocate for alumni news and connection. The “Place” portion of the name will be filled in by the name of the city where the group exists. For example, we already have named Diana Frurip as the alumni advocate for Kendall Alumni in NYC, and we have another for the chapter Kendall Alumni in High Point as well. We are actively seeking volunteers for representation in Chicago, San Francisco, Portland and other design-centric cities. Interested? Drop me a line at [email protected]

Peter Jacob
Director of Alumni Relations


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