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Scripps College alum who learned ceramic art there gives $4 million to keep the flame going

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Thanks to a grateful alumna from the class of 1949, Scripps College and the affiliated Claremont Graduate University are getting $4 million in dough to benefit art students learning to work with clay.

The gift for ceramic art programs at the two institutions in Claremont comes from Joan Lincoln and her husband David, who live in Paradise Valley, Ariz. It includes a $3.5-million pledge to Scripps, funding a new, 3,000 square-foot ceramics building and an endowment for various ceramic art studies programs and exhibitions, and $500,000 to establish an endowment for graduate student scholarships at Claremont Graduate University.

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With the gift comes a chance for the two institutions ‘to recapture their place as preeminent educators of ceramic artists,’ the Scripps College president, Lori Bettison-Varga, said in a prepared statement.

Scripps, a women’s college, is in its 66th year of hosting the Scripps College Annual, which it bills as ‘the longest-running exhibition of contemporary ceramics in the United States.’ It opened last weekend and runs through April 4 in the college’s Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery.

An announcement of the gift notes that Joan Lincoln called herself a ‘mudder’ during her student days because of all the time she spent in the ceramics studio at Scripps, turning earth into art. She went on to earn a master’s degree in ceramic art from Arizona State University, where she and her husband, whose family fortune was built on electric motor inventions in the early 1900s, have been key donors to its Ceramics Research Center.

-- Mike Boehm

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