$5 million donation to fund Lehigh University Art Galleries

A $5 million gift from arts philanthropist Kenneth R. Woodcock ’65 will endow an executive fund for the Lehigh University Art Galleries (LUAG). The Woodcock Director’s Fund will ensure the protection and preservation of the university’s teaching collection and realize the full potential of LUAG as a driver of arts education and student and community engagement.

The fund represents the largest donation ever made to LUAG and will be administered by Director William Crow. Woodcock shares Crow’s vision that art can be an interdisciplinary engine for teaching, learning and research.

“I hope this gift will be a catalyst for all Lehigh students to develop a love and appreciation for art for the rest of their lives,” Woodcock said. “With William Crow leading the effort, I’m confident we can broaden the experience for students and the community.”

Raven said Woodcock’s generosity in creating this endowment fund “will provide critical and flexible support that is truly transformative. All museums and cultural institutions want the philanthropic leadership Ken has shown.

“This donation represents an investment in key programs that provide high-impact, hands-on learning experiences for students, which is a top priority of GO: The Campaign for Lehigh,” said President John D. Simon ’19P. . “We are deeply grateful to Ken for his commitment to improving our ability to support the arts at Lehigh, which will undoubtedly have a profound impact on our students for generations to come.”

“The arts play a central role in the intellectual experience of students, staff and faculty and in our engagement with the community. Ken Woodcock’s donation will allow the university to make further strides in nationally and internationally recognizing Lehigh as a leader in arts education and programming,” said Robert Flowers, Herbert J. and Ann L. Siegel Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

After earning a mechanical engineering degree from Lehigh in 1965 and earning an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh in 1966, Woodcock began his career at DuPont. He later served as a commissioned officer with the United States Public Health Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Energy Administration, and Department of Energy. He was the environmental adviser to the energy czars during the 1974 Arab oil embargo.

In 1981, he participated in the founding of AES Corporation, a global electricity company, from which he became vice-president in 1987 and retired in 2004.

Woodcock’s arts philanthropy includes serving as national trustee of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia. He is an active art collector specializing in 19th and 20th century American art from the Reverend Edward Everett Hale family and has established a private center for the study of Hale family art for his collection. Previous philanthropic support for the arts includes a $2 million gift to endow a trusteeship with PAFA.

“My interest in collecting art began when I traveled to Europe after my experience with the Public Health Service. With AES, I traveled to 50 countries and always found an art gallery wherever I was visiting,” Woodcock said.

Woodcock is a longtime benefactor of Lehigh, with a history that includes more than 30 years of supporting the Lehigh Fund. “It’s a chance to give back because of the benefits I received from my Lehigh education,” he said.

The gift is unique in that it is a structured gift, part outright and part bequest. “The benefit of structured giving is that the donor can immediately see their philanthropy in action with the outright gift and also plan for ongoing impact as a legacy gift,” said Joe Buck, Vice President for Development and Relationships with the elders.

Woodcock’s support of the university’s commitment to its history and the liberal and classical arts includes the establishment of a music recording studio at the Zoellner Arts Center and his generous support of renovations to the Linderman Library, where the iconic rotunda is named in his honor.

Woodcock and his wife, Dorothy, have been actively involved in numerous nonprofit organizations where they reside in Washington, DC, and Matunuck, Rhode Island. Some of the organizations they support include the Washington National Cathedral, Washington National Opera, Choral Arts Society of Washington, Washington Concert Opera, Preserve Rhode Island, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“Art has allowed me to learn more about world history,” Woodcock said. “Through our service and philanthropy, we also hope to help others learn. We want to make the world a better place. »

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Mildred D. Field