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Ohio Northern University Art & Design professor awarded endowed chair

September—Ohio Northern University professor Brit Rowe has been named the Eleanor H. and Robert W. Biggs Endowed Chair in the Fine Arts for the 2012-13 academic year.

Rowe is associate professor and chair of the department of art & design, a top 200 creative program in the United States (“Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers”). He joined the faculty in 1999 after receiving his M.F.A. degree in graphic design from the University of Michigan. He is a member of AIGA/The Professional Association for Design, the University and College Designers Association, Kappa Pi, Theta Chi, Order of Omega and Omicron Delta Kappa. He has considerable experience as a graphic designer, has exhibited regionally and has worked for clients such as Norwich University, the United Way, and many others. He also has collaborated with design students for local organizations such as the Ada Public Library, the Village of Ada, Restore Community Center, the Allen East Community Center and Ohio Northern. Since 2006, he has presented at AIGA national design educators’ conferences and the 4th International Conference on Design Principles and Practices in Chicago. He was invited as an external program consultant to review college art/design curricula, was selected as a juror for various regional and international competitions including the Ohio Governor’s Exhibition and Poster for Tomorrow, and was included in Creative for a Cause, a social responsibility resource for advertising/graphic design educators. Rowe also was inducted into Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

The Eleanor H. and Robert W. Biggs Endowed Chair in the Fine Arts was established in 1992 to recognize faculty’s outstanding contributions to the University. The chair recognizes faculty from the departments of art & design, communication and theatre arts, and music.

“The award is based on teaching, scholarship and service,” said Rowe. “The professors in the Fine Arts Division select and nominate a faculty member. Then the administration reviews the nomination to receive the recognition.”

Rowe teaches undergraduate level courses including visual communication design, typography, narrative structures, persuasive design, identity design, and design research. “This award will certainly help with new initiatives within the department,” said Rowe.

In 1994, University President Dr. DeBow Freed said, “Endowed chairs are a means of honoring deserving faculty for excellence in teaching and scholarship and distinguished service to the University. Those appointed admirably meet the criteria for selection and bring additional distinction to the chairs” (Alumni Magazine, Number 1, March 1994).

The theatre/concert hall of the Freed Center for the Performing Arts was dedicated in memory of the late Dr. Eleanor Biggs, a former university trustee. She was a warm, genuine person who took great interest in the arts at Ohio Northern. She encouraged strengthening and expanding the arts program.

Mrs. Biggs served on the development committee of the board of trustees and assisted in the fund drive for the performing arts center.

She was the widow of Dr. Robert W. Biggs, an ONU graduate and past chief executive officer of Brush-Wellman, Inc. of Cleveland. She received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College and an honorary doctorate from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She was actively involved in the Cleveland area community and supported several colleges.

Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second and third editions of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2011–12 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.