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Visual arts education institute renamed to honor sustaining donors

The College of Visual Arts and Design announced it will rename the North Texas Institute for the Education of the Visual Arts (NTIEVA) to honor longtime supporters Jo Ann (Jody) and Dr. Charles O. Onstead.

The Jo Ann (Jody) and Dr. Charles O. Onstead Institute for Education in the Visual Arts and Design, made possible through a $2.5 million gift from the Onstead estate, will foster research, support talented arts and design educators, and collaborate with local, state, national and international arts and cultural agencies in unique ways to advance arts awareness for future generations.

“The Onsteads understood how central an appreciation of the fine arts is to a child’s development,” said Robert Milnes, former dean of the College of Visual Arts and Design. “Arts and designintegrated learning is central to cognitive development and cultural awareness. The Onsteads’ greatest legacy will be that they supported educational and artistic opportunities that enriched the lives of people of all ages.”

Support for the Institute follows more than $1.4 million in gifts from Dr. Charles Onstead and the Onstead estate from 2010 to 2013 to endow the Jo Ann (Jody) and Charles O. Onstead Master Fellows Fund and to create the Institute. The Onstead Master Fellows Fund provides financial assistance to promising UNT graduate students who intend to pursue careers in art education. Nine students have received fellowships since the fund was established in 2009.

Charles and Jo Ann "Jody" Onstead met at UNT, where Jody earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1944 and Charles a degree in political science in 1947 after serving in World War II. Jody taught elementary art in the Dallas public schools. Charles earned his medical degree at UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He was chief of radiology at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio when he retired from the military as a full colonel at the age of 48. He then opened a private radiology practice. The couple was married for 57 years before Jody's death in 2003. Charles died in 2012.

Onstead family members have joined Dr. Charles Onstead in donating over $4.5 million to UNT, including gifts to create Jody’s Fountain and the Onstead Promenade which is located in the Willis Library Mall. Matching gifts totaling over $150,000 have been received from the State of Texas, and UNT could receive additional support for the Onstead Institute or its fellowships through the Texas Research Incentive Program, in which the state of Texas matches eligible gifts that advance research at emerging research universities.

—Margarita Venegas, news promotions

Posted on: Wed 10 September 2014

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