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Donor Establishes Endowment for Ruth Funk Textile Center

Cape Canaveral Couple Impressed
by Florida Tech Facility         

MELBOURNE, FLA. — A couple from Cape Canaveral has established an endowment to support Florida Institute of Technology’s Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts and help ensure the unique facility’s continued operation as an integral part of student education.

The donors, who asked to remain anonymous, came to Brevard County as snowbirds in 2011. They moved to the area permanently a short time later. The couple described their first year in Brevard as one of exploration, including discovering one of the gems on Florida Tech’s campus.

“We found the Funk Center online and set out to see it. The Funk was the most impressive art venue we had seen outside of Orlando,” one said. “The show itself, I think it was ‘The Little Black Dress,’ was just as impressive, with its professional display, lighting and information. We were hooked.”

Carla Funk, executive director and chief curator of university museums, said, “I am thrilled with the gift and so very thankful for this wonderful display of generosity.”

She said the endowment, which can be supported by anyone who may wish to contribute, will help fund future Ruth Funk Center exhibits.

The donors said they were motivated to establish the endowment because they experienced the power and benefit of an education that was not constrained to just one primary focus. They believe the Funk Center and its sister facility, the Foosaner Art Museum, can help ensure Florida Tech students have similar experiences.

“We are both in the last quarter of life and were educated at a time when whatever one’s chosen profession, there was an expectation of well roundedness,” one of them said. “Engineers and scientists can appreciate the arts personally, but our universities (and high schools) used to help promote those interests with required courses in literature, art and music. Having an important textile museum on campus as well as the Foosaner supports our perhaps dated ideas about education.”

For more on the endowment and ways to support it as part of Florida Tech’s mission, please visit https://give.fit.edu/funk-center.

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