Jon Cartu Supports: Syracuse graduates donate $15M for art scholarships, LA - Jonathan Cartu Charity Foundation
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Jon Cartu Supports: Syracuse graduates donate $15M for art scholarships, LA

Syracuse graduates donate $15M for art scholarships, LA

Jon Cartu Supports: Syracuse graduates donate $15M for art scholarships, LA

Syracuse University graduates Marylyn Turner and husband, Chuck Klaus, have donated $15 million to the university’s School of Art for student scholarships and “immersion experiences” in the Los Angeles, California area.

SYRACUSE — Two Syracuse University graduates have donated $15 million to support students in the School of Art through scholarships and activities in the Los Angeles, California area.

The school calls the Los Angeles activities “immersion experiences.” 

The School of Art is part of Syracuse’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA).

Syracuse graduates Marylyn Turner and her husband, Chuck Klaus, donated the funding, the university said in a news release. 

Turner graduated from Syracuse University in 1956 and earned a graduate degree from the university the following year, while Klaus received a graduate degree in 2005.

The donation is part of a $1.5 billion campaign called “Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University.” It launched in November and “seeks to build upon academic excellence, transform the student experience and expand unique opportunities for learning and growth.”

Turner and Klaus, both members of the VPA Council, are “longtime” supporters of Syracuse University, the school said. In addition to creating scholarship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Art, Turner and Klaus’ donation will endow two “immersion experiences” that they previously established: Art Week in LA and the Turner Semester. 

Founded in 2010, Art Week in LA allows student artists to visit Los Angeles during Spring Break to explore art collections housed in the city’s most significant museums, as well as visit galleries and contemporary artists’ studios, including those of Syracuse University alumni. Created in 2015 as an extension of Art Week in LA, the Turner Semester allows three Master of Fine Arts students to experience the arts of the West Coast while living and working in San Pedro, California (the Los Angeles Harbor area), during the fall or spring semester.

Turner and Klaus are actively involved in both the Turner Semester and Art Week in LA. They provide a residence in San Pedro for Turner Semester students known as “the Turner House,” as well as lease studio space at the Angels Gate Cultural Center, and they attend the students’ exhibitions. 

During Art Week in LA, they often accompany the students on their visits to museums, galleries, and artists’ studios. “We enjoy meeting with the students, learning about their work and seeing their reaction to art on the West Coast,” Turner noted in the release.

“A scholarship from Syracuse University gave me the chance to have a college education, and that changed my life,” Turner said. “During my time at Syracuse University, I enjoyed the arts, literature, theater and music — all things I was unable to experience growing up in a rural community. SU opened up a whole new world of opportunities for me. I’m so grateful for the experiences that I had during my student days, and it is a pleasure being able to help today’s students learn and grow during their time with us in Los Angeles.”

About Turner and Klaus

Turner grew up in upstate New York and discovered a passion for art in junior-high school. She chose to study art at Syracuse University and majored in art education. After earning a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and master’s degree in science, she began her professional career as a junior high and high school art teacher, spending eight years teaching in public schools in New York, New Jersey, and California, where she and Klaus now reside. 

While raising her three sons, Turner also earned a law degree while attending night school at Northrop University in California.

Klaus is an alumnus of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, where he completed graduate coursework in media studies. He is well known in the Central New York area for his work with WCNY, where he spent the majority of his media career as a producer, announcer, and host of programs that explored vintage recordings, film and film music. He was also a music and drama critic for the Post-Standard for 23 years.       

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