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Alumni honor esteemed Professor Franz Schulze with endowed scholarship

A newly established endowed scholarship honors Franz Schulze, Betty Jane Schultz Hollender Professor of Art Emeritus, who many art history alumni consider one of the most inspiring teachers of their lives.

Peter Reed ’77, George Goodwin ’70, and Patrick Cooney ’68, all former students of Schulze’s who pursued careers in art history, are the three principal contributors of the scholarship.

“To me, it’s to honor a great teacher,” Reed said. “It’s a statement about the importance of a teacher for opening our eyes.”

The scholarship was established to provide financial aid to students who are majoring or interested in Art and may be used to help fund travel costs for students going to and from Chicago for internships or cultural enrichment. After all, seeing the world at the age of 18 is an important part of the educational experience, Reed said.

“Franz was our guide,” he said.

Goodwin took three classes with Schulze: Introduction to Art History, 20th Century Art History, and Architectural History.

“All of these were enhanced by my visits to Chicago,” he said.

It almost didn’t matter what kind of course he was going to teach, you just wanted to be there.

- Peter Reed ’77

Schulze received the College’s Great Teacher Award in 1968, among other accolades over the course of his career. He had a large following. Even adults from the Lake Forest and Highland Park area signed up to take his classes.

“It almost didn’t matter what kind of course he was going to teach, you just wanted to be there,” Reed said.

Reed first learned about the professor through word of mouth. 

“What I realized very quickly was Franz was one of those special inspiring teachers who gave very dynamic lectures, who used language beautifully,” he said. “You left an hour-long lecture a foot off the ground. You were so turned on and so inspired. He made art and culture not only meaningful but somehow one of the most important things mankind can do.”

Schulze had a long post-retirement career and continues to be a vibrant man, his former students say, holding office hours, writing, drawing, and painting.

Goodwin refers to Schulze as “one of the best” and would like to see the scholarship in his honor continue to grow. To help, he connected with the College to identify other former students who might be interested in contributing and sent them a letter. Many responded.

“I am hoping that, after the announcement of the Schulze Scholarship, other alumni will make gifts to this fund. Indeed, there must be students from the 1950s, early ’60s, and ’80s who would also like to honor Franz and our College,” he said. “Great teaching, like great art, is priceless.”