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Spiegel and Kerr bring joy to Otis

When the Otis College of Art and Design opened for the class of 2022 earlier this month, the announcement of a major charitable donation marked a historic moment for the school and its class.
The donation – made by Evan Spiegel, CEO and co-founder of Snap Inc., and his model wife, Miranda Kerr, through the Spiegel Family Fund – represents the largest donation to Otis College since the college was founded in 1918 .

The donation, the exact amount of which has not been disclosed but exceeds $10 million, made the college’s May 15 commencement ceremony a life-changing milestone for the 285 graduate students when it was announced that the donation included full repayment of their student loans.

“The Otis College of Art and Design is an extraordinary institution that encourages young creatives to find their artistic voice and thrive in a variety of industries and careers,” said Spiegel and Kerr. “It is a privilege for our family to give back and support the Class of 2022, and we hope this gift will empower the graduates to pursue their passions, contribute to the world, and inspire humanity for years to come. “

Spiegel, who took design courses at Otis College before enrolling at Stanford University, said the donation reflects the influence his time at Otis had on his creativity, career and entrepreneurial pursuits. .
At Stanford, Spiegel designed and co-founded the social media app Snapchat with two of his classmates and fraternity brothers. He became the country’s youngest billionaire, aged 25, in 2015.

He credits much of his success to his experience at Otis.
“[Otis College] changed my life and made me feel at home,” Spiegel told students at the May 15 graduation ceremony, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I felt pushed and challenged growing up surrounded by super talented artists and designers, and we were all in it together.

In 2017, Spiegel and Kerr, who run beauty line KORA Organics, established the Spiegel Family Fund, a philanthropic organization whose mission focuses on the arts, education, housing, and human rights causes. in Los Angeles.

“The arts play a central role in empowering self-expression, celebrating our humanity, and inspiring our society to think in new ways,” Spiegel told The Times. “In an increasingly measurement-driven world, we seek to create space for things that are harder to measure: imagination, creativity and innovation.”

Spiegel, Kerr and Bobby Berk, design expert and Emmy-nominated TV host for “Queer Eye,” received honorary degrees at the launch event.
“Otis College is extremely grateful for this historic, life-changing gift from Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel for the Class of 2022 and their families,” said Charles Hirschhorn, President of Otis College.

Student debt weighs heavily on our diverse and talented graduates. We hope this donation will bring them much-needed relief and allow them to pursue their aspirations and careers, further this generosity, and become the next leaders of our community,” said Hirschhorn. “We know that for most of you and your families, the sheer burden of student debt is a heavy toll. We understand that this debt can jeopardize your future and limit your creative ambitions. We don’t want that to happen.

Otis will also use Spiegel and Kerr’s donation to create the Alternative Loan Debt Repayment Fund, which will make charitable donations to graduate students with similar secured student loans outside of college.
Over 90% of Otis students receive financial aid.

Otis College, the first professional art school established in Los Angeles, is one of the most diverse and top-ranked art and design institutions in the country.
Since its inception in 1918, Otis has educated, trained and mentored a diverse community of talent in traditional and emerging established creative sectors – encompassing a variety of fields such as communication arts, digital media, environmental design, design fashion, fine arts, product design and toy design.

The school’s alumni and faculty represent Fulbright, MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowship recipients, Academy Award winners, legendary costume designers, contemporary art movement leaders, entrepreneurs and design stars in influential companies such as Apple, Pixar, DreamWorks, Mattel, Nike and Netflix.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Otis College is ranked in the top 1% of colleges and universities committed to diversity and inclusion.
Currently, Otis College educates about 1,200 students, and its statistics dashboard reflects the school’s rich and culturally diverse environment, with 77% identifying as non-white and 30% as the first in their families to attend. university.

Between its various renowned and experienced faculty and programs, the college is known for training its students to become highly skilled, knowledgeable and responsible professionals, while inspiring, encouraging and empowering their students to explore and use their creativity to create, reinvent , design and shape a better and leave their mark on the world.