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University invests its largest bequest in students


26 February 2002
Income derived from the largest bequest yet made to Southern Cross University - $180,000 from the estates of the late John and Sheilagh Kaske, prominent members of the Lismore community - is being used to fund an annual $5000 Memorial Fellowship and eight $500 awards for undergraduates who have excelled in their studies at SCU.

Under the terms of the Trust, the recipients will be students in Visual Arts, a field close to the hearts of both John Kaske and his wife Sheilagh who shared a commitment to the local community in the fields of health, education and the arts.

John Kaske was a highly regarded senior executive in regional health and maintained a strong interest in literature and the visual arts, while Sheilagh Kaske gave years of volunteer service to the Lismore Regional Art Gallery, providing vital support in the consolidation of its fine collection.

The inaugural John & Sheilagh Kaske Memorial Fellow is Simone Tops, who completed her Bachelor of Visual Arts degree last year at SCU's Lismore campus and will graduate in April. She will travel to the USA to study glass at the internationally renowned Pilchuck studios in Seattle.

The recipients of the Kaske Awards are -

Liz Deckers, 2nd Year Printmaking; Libby Elton, 1st Year Printmaking;

Kathryn Kermode, 2nd Year Sculpture; Caroline Lewis, 2nd Year Ceramic; Sean

Neary, 1st Year Painting; Joe Stark, 1st Year Sculpture; Simone Weiherman,

1st Year Ceramic; Michelle Zarro, 2nd Year Painting.

The Head of the School of Contemporary Arts, Associate Professor Jan Davis,said, "Southern Cross was naturally overwhelmed when we first heard the news of the Kaskes' generosity, and now we have set in motion a scheme that, in perpetuity, will directly benefit some of our most creative students. I'm sure John and Sheilagh would have been very pleased by the outcome".

The Kaske Awards will be presented to the recipients by the Executive Dean of Arts, Professor Paul Thom, at a ceremony in the University Art Museum on Thursday, February 28, followed by the opening of the first Visual Arts exhibition for 2002, 'Menacing Delicacy', works by Patricia Harper.