Graphic Communications Scholarship Foundation awards $53,000 to Students
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Press release from the issuing companyNew York City (July 08, 2008) The future of the graphic arts in America got measurably brighter recently, when the Graphic Communication Scholarship Foundation conducted its Sixth Annual Awards Ceremony.
An audience of 110 print professionals and the award winners' proud parents gathered in the atrium of the new Hearst Tower on June 24 to join in the presentation of $53,000 in scholarship funds to 25 metropolitan area students who are pursuing graphic arts careers.
Ranging in size from one thousand dollars to five thousand dollars, each scholarship was sponsored by a different company within the graphic arts community. Eleven of the 25 awards went to students who are entering college this fall, and 13 were presented to students who are already pursuing their college degrees at some of the nation's top schools.
Expanding the scope of its awards this year, the foundation granted the 25th and final award to a middle school student who will be starting a graphic arts curriculum in high school next year. The educational fund also announced tentative plans to provide scholarships to graduate students who are pursuing graphic arts careers.
The scholarship program is conducted by the Graphic Communications Scholarship Award and Career Advancement Foundation, a non-profit that encourages leading corporations in the industry to develop professional and educational opportunities for graphic arts students.
Tom Saggiomo, CEO and President of Agfa's Graphic Systems Group in North America, received the foundation's Champion of Education Award. He also delivered the keynote address.
"Our industry, in many cases, is misunderstood," he said. "But I have some facts and figures that clear up those misperceptions. According to The International Trade Committee, graphic communications is one of the few industries that still runs a positive trade surplus. . . And the future of the graphic communications industry is predicted to be very strong."
Defining how that translates into career potential, Saggiomo pointed out that there are over 36,000 graphic communications facilities in the US. "That ranks our industry second overall. And according to the US Bureau of Labor, there are more than 1 million people employed by our industry. In that category, we are the third largest in the US."
Pointing to the future, Saggiomo told the students that they can go anywhere in the country and find a job graphic communications. "Due to baby boomers retiring, there is good solid job growth predicted for our industry. Those careers run the gamut from production positions, to sales, to management. So it's a good place to be. And I'm pleased that we have students like you in programs like these to create the talent we need."
Mark Darlow, president of the foundation, served as master of ceremonies of the event, and presented the scholarships. He thanked the companies and corporations that sponsored the awards and contributed to the festivities.
Darlow, in turn, was thanked for his years in leading the foundation with the presentation of an award plaque by the incoming president, Richard Krasner. The organization's outgoing Treasurer, Bill Dirzulaitis, also received an award plaque for his six years of service to the foundation.
Two corporate sponsors - Quark and Pantone - celebrated their sixth year as contributors to the foundation. As has become a tradition, Quark gave each scholarship winner the latest version of QuarkXpress, while Pantone provided copies of its benchmark color formula guides to the scholarship recipients.
The Hearst Corporation provided the venue for the event, as well as sponsoring one of the major scholarships. And Partnership in Print (P3) donated full one-year memberships to the honorees so they can take advantage of the organization's courses and networking opportunities.
This year's 25 scholarships is the highest number of grants since the competition began six years ago. The winners were selected by a panel of industry leaders, who reviewed the students' SAT scores, samples of their work, and essays that reinforced their commitment to graphic arts careers.
Set for Next Year
Applications for the 2009 edition of the Graphic Communications Scholarships will be accepted starting next academic year. The competition is open to any graduating high school or middle school student who has:
• taken Graphic Communications courses,
• has been accepted into a high school or college anywhere in the country, and
• is pursuing an education in Graphic Communications from:
? the five boroughs of New York City,
? the New York State counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland, or
? the New Jersey counties of Bergen, Essex and Union.
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