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Leo Freedman Foundation Pledges $500,000 to College of the Arts

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The Leo Freedman Foundation is continuing its longstanding support of Cal State Fullerton with a new $500,000 gift to the College of the Arts. In recognition of this gift and annual scholarship support that dates back to 1993, the name of the current studio and West Gallery within the Visual Arts Center will be renamed the Leo Freedman Foundation Studio and M.F.A. Art Gallery.

“The Leo Freedman Foundation’s donation will provide significant scholarship support for years to come, ensuring that graduate students in all arts disciplines have the opportunity to pursue advanced studies and are ultimately prepared for vibrant careers and creative lives,” said Dale Merrill, dean of the College of the Arts. “Helping our graduate students pursue excellence and creativity is the greatest testament to how Leo lived his own life.”

The foundation, which supports arts and culture education and programs in Orange County, will be recognized at a reception in the spring.

“It means so much to me to honor my great uncle Leo Freedman by naming the Leo Freedman Foundation Studio and M.F.A. Art Gallery that memorializes his generosity and commitment to the arts in Orange County,” said Sharon Lesk, the foundation’s trustee. “Equally important is honoring him in the hearts of our Cal State Fullerton M.F.A. scholarship students — former, current and future — by helping them make their dreams come true.

“What will continue to make the Leo Freedman Foundation Studio and M.F.A. Art Gallery and the CSUF College of the Arts so dynamic and exciting is the creativity, talent and imagination of the students,” she added.

“I can’t think of a more fitting tribute to honor the legacy of Leo Freedman than by naming our Studio and M.F.A. Art Gallery space after him,” said Merrill. “This is a place where graduate students in the visual arts hone and ultimately showcase their extraordinary creative accomplishments. These students are an important part of the College of the Arts’ graduate student body, who excel not only in the visual arts, but also in theater, dance and music.”