Alum Creates Scholarship for Students of Color

May 21, 2021

Throughout his career, Noel Mayo ’60 (Industrial Design) has paid it forward to University of the Arts through gifts and service. This year, UArts paid him back with the Excellence in the Arts Alumni Award.

In addition to being honored with the 2021 Excellence in the Arts Alumni Award at University of the Arts’ gala, Performance Unleashed, in April, Mayo established a scholarship. His $100,000 gift created the Noel Mayo Scholarship Fund. Mayo’s generosity will be directed toward students of color in the School of Design.

“I realized that students of color have very few opportunities for funding in Design,” Mayo explained. “I thought that if I could start with a gift of $100,000 at my alma mater to support these students maybe, just maybe, we could grow it.”

Mayo was the first Black graduate to earn a BS in Industrial Design from the Philadelphia Museum College of Art in 1960. He later became chair of the department, making him the first Black chairperson of an Industrial Design program in the U.S., and held that post for 11 years. Since 1989, he has been an Eminent Scholar in Art and Design Technology and Professor of Industrial Design at the Ohio State University in Columbus.

On Zoom for a toast just before Performance Unleashed began, Mayo was surprised by a matching $100,000 gift, which will be dedicated to students of color across disciplines. 

Because of Mayo’s deep commitment to UArts, and his and his match donor’s generosity, the Noel Mayo Scholarship Fund will not only advance human creativity, but also access to the design industry. 

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