Suzanne Ely Muchnic ’62 and her late husband, Paul Muchnic, establish Endowed Professorship
December 9, 2016
In 2013, Trustee Suzanne Ely Muchnic ’62 and her husband, Paul, pledged more than $1 million to the “More Scripps” Campaign. Extraordinary members of our community, the Muchnics supported our arts program, The Scripps Fund, and have made a generous pledge through their estates.
Earlier this fall, Paul Muchnic passed away after a long battle with illness. Suzanne has since accelerated and increased her Campaign commitment to more than $2 million, including a gift of $1.5 million. Her gift has led to the creation of the Suzanne ’62 and Paul D. Muchnic Endowed Professorship. In the 2017-2018 academic year, a deserving professor of art will be awarded with the new professorship.
The Muchnic gift was made in honor of Mary MacNaughton ’70, professor of art history and director of the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, in recognition of MacNaughton’s extraordinary life of service and teaching during her career at Scripps College.
Suzanne’s gift is the fourth endowed professorship of the Campaign for Scripps College toward the goal of 10 such professorships. The Muchnic Professorship is also the second this year to qualify for $500,000 in matching funds from the Weinberg Foundation Challenge announced in 2015, put forth by Trustee Betsy Smith ’74 to encourage new professorships. The Weinberg Challenge will match each of the remaining qualifying professorships sought during the Campaign. In October, the Laura Vausbinder Hockett Endowed Professorship was announced, with a gift of $1,500,000, and $500,000 in matching funds from the Weinberg Foundation Challenge.
A longtime art writer for the Los Angeles Times and contributor to many art publications, Suzanne has followed the evolution of Los Angeles’s art scene since the 1970s and traveled widely to report on important artists, museums, exhibitions, and cultural issues. She won first prize for arts and entertainment reporting from the Greater Los Angeles Press Club in 1993. Her critically acclaimed biography, Odd Man In: Norton Simon and the Pursuit of Culture, was awarded the 2002 Donald Pflueger Local History Award of the Historical Society of Southern California. In 2015, her book LACMA So Far: Portrait of a Museum in the Making drew upon her experiences as a Los Angeles Times arts writer, documenting the story of how LACMA established itself as one of the largest, premier art museums in the western United States.
The Suzanne ’62 and Paul D. Muchnic Endowed Professorship brings the “More Scripps” Campaign to more than $132 million as of November 30, 2016, 75 percent of the $175 million goal.