San Antonio – The Betty Stieren Kelso Foundation has presented a $1 million gift to the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) to establish the Betty Stieren Kelso Endowed Scholarship for Fine Arts. This gift will create the largest endowment dedicated to Fine Arts students at UIW. The endowment further enhances the Foundation’s dedication to the UIW Mission, which is already home to the Kelso Art Gallery and the newly renovated Kelso Art Center.
The Betty Stieren Kelso Foundation is well-known for its long-standing commitment to supporting the arts, not just at UIW, but through the various museums in San Antonio. The late Betty Kelso was also once a dedicated member of the UIW Board of Trustees.
“A strong education and appreciation of the Arts is a pillar of the type of well-rounded student the University of the Incarnate Word is known for,” says Sister Kathleen Coughlin, CCVI, senior advisor to the president. “We are blessed by the long-time friendship and support of the Kelso Foundation and this gift will allow our students to grow and flourish here in the glow of the Kelso Art Center, and beyond, for years to come.”
A strong Fine Arts Department is a major priority of UIW’s Mission and strategic vision statement. Studying the arts can deepen a students’ education and may provide benefits far beyond their time at UIW. The University’s recent upgrades to the Kelso Art Center provides the resources and facilities needed for students to receive an exemplary arts education, and has separate spaces and designated studios for drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, and art history, as well as three galleries including one dedicated to the work of UIW students.
“Through their namesake gallery and the art center, the Kelso family name is interwoven in the fabric of this University,” says Dr. Thomas M. Evans, UIW president. “Now, with the Betty Stieren Kelso Endowed Scholarship for Fine Arts, that connection is further secured and countless number of UIW students will experience and be inspired by the arts. This is yet another tremendous gift from the Directors of the Betty Stieren Kelso Foundation to our UIW community and to all those who appreciate the arts.”
The goal of the Scholarship is to assist arts students to graduate with a minimum amount of student debt. Recipients must demonstrate significant academic and artistic talent, but lack the financial resources to take advantage of certain keys to success including professional internships, exhibitions, or service-learning. The first Betty Stieren Kelso Endowed Scholarship for Fine Arts recipients could be named as soon as the Fall of 2020.