Opening the Door to a World of Contemplation and Discovery:

Dr. Valliere Richard Auzenne

As a member of Ringling College of Art and Design’s board of trustees, Dr. Valliere Auzenne has watched the College’s progress with amazement. “It has been incredible to witness all of the changes,” she says. “I remember my first visit and how the campus looked. It’s been fun to watch the growth of the majors, especially digital filmmaking, and to see the development of the new curricula. It’s great to be a trustee when this is happening!”

     Now, with planning underway for a new, state-of-the-art library, Auzenne is even more excited about Ringling’s future.

     Auzenne has always felt at home in libraries. To her, they are sanctuaries — places of concentration and contemplation. They provide magical windows into other worlds. She remembers many happy childhood hours spent in libraries.

     A graduate of California College of the Arts, Auzenne holds an M.A. from California State University, Los Angeles, and a doctorate from Florida State University where she is a tenured senior faculty member in the College of Motion Picture Arts. During her academic studies and throughout her career, libraries have opened doors into the world of art and artists. Reading memoirs and journals allowed her access to great artists’ thoughts and feelings and gave her insight into their work. Libraries brought the world’s great art to her doorstep. “Libraries have always been special places in my heart and life.”

     Auzenne recently expressed her conviction about the importance of a library for Ringling students in a unique and effective manner: she made a $180,000 gift commitment to the new library campaign. By designating Ringling as the beneficiary of a retirement asset in her estate plan, she is able to make such a meaningful testamentary gift while still enjoying the benefits of the asset for the remainder of her life.

     Auzenne also plans future donations to benefit the library, including her collection of art books and two collections of interviews of famous artists. For her dissertation on the history of computer animation, the artists  interviewed include Alvy Ray Smith, Ed Catmull and John Whitney; for the Barnett Aden Collection catalogue, they include Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence and Lois Mailou Jones.

     “Ringling is where these documents belong; where students will have access to them. Not buried in storage somewhere,” says Auzenne.

     Through these contributions, Auzenne hopes to encourage others to think about similar ways to be philanthropic. In her view, “Even those who do not have significant means can still make a significant gift.”