Raise the Torch
The Campaign for Florida State

“An Art Affair” Establishes the Susan and Mark Messersmith Art Scholarship

Susan & Mark Messersmith with Buyers Allison Tant-Richard and Barry Richard
Susan & Mark Messersmith with Buyers Allison Tant-Richard and Barry Richard

Last year, Susan and Mark Messersmith announced their interest in establishing an art scholarship for undergraduate students excelling in painting and sculpture at Florida State University.

Susan and Mark are committed to young artists and to Florida State University. Susan received her bachelors and master’s degrees from FSU and serves as Graduate Admissions Coordinator for the Department of Art Education. Mark has been an FSU Professor of Art since 1985. Both are enthusiastic advocates of the arts and our students. They believe art can make meaningful impacts in the lives of people, positively influence our ideals, and make the natural and social world a better place.

Mark and Susan reached out to the College of Fine Arts Development Department to learn more about legacy giving, at which time they determined that an endowment would accomplish their desire. The principal of an endowed fund is never spent. Instead, the principal is invested, and the earnings are used to fulfill the purpose(s) for which the fund was created – in this case, a scholarship.

Friends Su and Steve Ecenia, David and Hilda Gilchrist, Allys Palladino-Craig, and Carolyn Henne heard about the Messersmiths’ goal and banded together to help them accomplish their dream.

On October 12, 2017, “An Art Affair” turned that dream into a reality.