Being named a Trustee Scholar is the highest honor that can be bestowed to a student by the Ringling College of Art and Design Board of Trustees.
These students are those who, in the eyes of the Trustees, best exemplify dedication, originality, brilliance, ambition and talent in their particular fields of study, as well as being campus and community leaders.
This year’s honorees included: Kaitlyn Guerrero, Business of Art & Design; Maria Bjarnadottir, Computer Animation; Thomas Pinto, Creative Writing; Likkamatti Hauru, Fine Arts; Saga Eklund, Fine Arts; Michael Boomer, Film; Jasleen Rehsi, Game Art; Martin Pohlmann, Graphic Design; Franki Colett, Interior Design; Inka Schulz, Illustration; Doug Alberts, Motion Design; Clark Perkins, Photography & Imaging; Emily Lamberski, Student Life; and Lillian Braman, Visual Studies.
From the junior class of each department, two students are nominated by the department head as being best representative of their major. These students are nominated, and, ultimately selected, for what they have done both in and out of the classroom, for Ringling College and our Gulf Coast communities.
Each year, Trustee Scholars are honored at a dinner, held on the soundstage at Ringling College. This year’s theme celebrated these young visionaries of the “Soaring ‘20s.”
“After high school,” said Kaitlyn Guerrero, Trustee Scholar of the Business of Art and Design department, “I was looking for a college where I could combine the two worlds of business and art. Other colleges couldn’t provide me with exactly what I wanted: a true integration of my two passions, and I was not willing to settle for one or the other.”
In her acceptance speech, Saga Eklund, Trustee Scholar in Fine Arts, described herself as striving to be more than “duktig,” a Swedish word that means both being good at something and being hard working. She thanked her parents for introducing her to Sarasota, which led her to Ringling College of Art and Design and to becoming the artist she is today.
Ringling College students are used to being challenged. In the case of Tom Pinto, his challenge was being a Creative Writing major in a sea of visual artists. In the case of Clark Perkins, he was juggling several challenges: being a non-traditional student with a family of his own to care for, dealing with the recent loss of a friend, and rising above societal and cultural norms.
None of the scholars described their journey as easy. On this night, they shared their hardships and doubts with a soundstage filled with love and support. If the thunderous applause at the end of the evening was any indication, that love and support will continue on, as they move into their professional careers and beyond.