Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo Professorship

SALEM, VA-In her inaugural address as 10th president of Roanoke College, Dr. Sabine U. O'Hara announced the establishment of a new professorship in art history. The Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo Professorship in Art History was made possible by Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo, a 1978 graduate of Roanoke College and a member of the Board of Trustees. "The Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo Professorship in Art History will strengthen the arts program at Roanoke and bring the joy and wonder of art and its history to Roanoke's students," O'Hara said.

The Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo Professorship in Art History is funded by the Dorothea L. Leonhardt Foundation and the Dorothea L. Leonhardt Fund at the Communities Foundation of Texas, Inc. These funds were named after Cassullo's mother, Dorothea L. Leonhardt.

"The spring semester of my senior year at Roanoke College, I was fortunate enough to have taken an American art history class in order to fulfill a last requirement for my bachelor of liberal arts degree," Cassullo said. "That course awoke in me a lifelong passion for art and art history that continues to inform who I am today. By creating this professorship, students will now be able to major in art history for the first time. I loved my years at Roanoke College and I felt that this was one way to strengthen-and enhance-that same experience for today's Roanoke College students."

The Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo Professorship will give students an appreciation of art and the human emotions it portrays. Roanoke's art history courses are fully enrolled each semester and the professorship will allow the college to offer additional art history classes and to focus more directly on the enrichment of art history, which is central to a liberal arts education.

"Ms. Cassullo's gift will allow the college to increase our offerings in Art History as well as provide further support to both the General Education and Honors programs," Dr. Bruce Partin, chair of the fine arts department, said. "We're especially excited that this hire will allow us to implement a major in Art History, a program long desired by both Fine Arts faculty and students."

Cassullo earned her bachelor of liberal arts from Roanoke College. Upon completion of her coursework for the master of fine arts from Southern Methodist University, she was awarded a Helena Rubinstein Fellowship in Museum Studies at the Whitney Museum in New York. Cassullo is the President of the Dorothea L. Leonhardt Foundation, Inc. in New York City. She has been a member of Roanoke College Board of Trustees since 1999 and served on the Board from 1982 to 1986 as well. She served on the President's Advisory Board and the fine arts endowment committee. She is a lifetime member of the Roanoke College Associates.

Cassullo also serves on the boards of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City where she is a trustee and vice president. She also serves on the boards of Creative Time, RxArt, HELP USA (Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged), The Children's Advocacy Center of Manhattan and Arts International. She is also a council member of Rockefeller University in New York City.

Roanoke College, the country's second oldest Lutheran-related college, is an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college. Its 1,850 students represent Virginia and 41 states across the U.S., along with 25 foreign countries. The college offers 33 majors, including professional preparation in business and education and pre-professional programs in law, medicine, dentistry, engineering and ministry. The College is listed in U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges Guide as a national liberal arts college. Roanoke is one of just 270 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. Roanoke is featured in Colleges of Distinction, a new college guide profiling some of America's best bets in higher education.

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