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The Crowd: Celebrating the champions of Chapman

November 21, 2013|By B.W. Cook
  • Honorees Randall and Suki McCardle (Citizens of the Year Award) and actor Beau Bridges (Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award).
Honorees Randall and Suki McCardle (Citizens of the Year… (Chapman University…)

The remarkable transformation of Chapman University from a small-town college of little reputation to a serious university with a growing national pedigree is testament to the vitality and the commitment of the Orange County citizenry. It is also the leadership of Chapman's president, Jim Doti, that has inspired serious money to support the vision.

The list of Chapman champions is long and distinguished, perhaps beginning with the dedication of Chapman alum George Argyros and his wife, Julianne. Their support has rallied nearly every O.C. citizen of means and accomplishment to not only contribute millions of dollars but also to lend expertise, advice and intellectual and emotional support.

Some have become adjunct professors in their chosen fields, including Mark Chapin Johnson, medical products millionaire and chairman of the Orange County Performing Arts Center before it was rebranded the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Chapin Johnson is an avid student of government, a member of Stanford University's Hoover Institution and a professor of political science at Chapman.

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Others have contributed their resources and talent to realize personal goals and make dreams a reality. The Dale E. Fowler School of Law, the Argyros School of Business and Economics, the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, and (under construction) the Musco Center for the Arts are all examples of how prominent donors in the community have transformed the quality of education at the university through their personal vision.

S. Paul and Marybelle Musco, Newport Beach residents, have led the charge to create this enormous undertaking, which will elevate Chapman's performing arts majors to a more professional status, making the school's programs serious contenders with such notable institutions as NYU, UCLA, USC, Yale and others that offer degrees in music, drama and the performing arts.

The most recent major gift to Chapman comes from Harry and Diane Rinker of Newport Beach. Their $15-million contribution, which was recently announced, will name Chapman's new Health Science Campus in Irvine. Funds will be used to support Chapman's graduate programs in the health sciences, including pharmacy, physical therapy and physician's assistant. A Chapman medical school cannot be far behind.

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