Alumni-Powered Cornish Gala Raises $677K for Students

The 2017 edition of the Annual Cornish College Scholarship Gala, set against the sparkling backdrop of the Chihuly Garden and Glass and featuring famous alumnae, set a fundraising record for the event.

Held for the first time in the glittering, colorful Glass House of Chihuly Garden and Glass at Seattle Center, the 2017 Cornish College Scholarship Gala wowed attendees, who responded with an outpouring of support for the College. All-in-all, $677,000 was raised for student scholarships on the evening of November 11, surpassing last year's Gala by $44,000. “Your gift will make a difference in the lives of our students,” supporters were told by Cornish Interim President Chris Kevorkian.

A special thanks went out to Honorary Co-Chairs of the Gala, Howard Wright and Kate Janeway.

The evening sparkled, too, with an all-alumni slate of entertainment, including one of the top cabaret divas in the US, Lady Rizo ’99, and Amy O’Neal ’99, an award-winning choreographer and teacher. All through the evening, attendees enjoyed more Cornish talent: live music, film, and videos. Even the photographers recording the event were Cornish alumni.

Following addresses by co-chairs Jody Cunningham and Marianne Francis ’96, and Interim President Kevorkian, guests heard inspiring words from Cornish graduate Courtney Sale ’01, recently appointed Artistic Director of Seattle Children’s Theatre. She spoke of her early life in a small town in Virginia, and how Cornish was a dream come true. “Like many artists, I was the outcast, I was obsessed with theatre even though I did not quite know what it was,” Sale said. “I was hungry for a tribe. I dreamt about a place like Cornish College of the Arts long before I met it.”

A wildly successful “raise the paddle” pledge event started at the $100,000 level thanks to a generous donation by longtime Cornish supporters James and Sherry Raisbeck ’88. At its conclusion, Lawrence E. Hard, chair of the Board of Trustees thanked everyone for making the evening a great success.

The evening closed with the doors to the Chihuly Garden and Glass were thrown open for an after party for the Cornish community. DJ “Chong the Nomad” (Alda Agustino ’17) delighted after-partiers, setting the tone for dancing and socializing.
Additional Coverage
"Cornish College of the Arts raised $680,000 for scholarships at its gala under glass" (Puget Sound Business Journal)