Project Runway’s Tim Gunn meets with Knapp

Media Credit: Photo Courtesy of flickr user Josh Hallett using CC BY-SA 2.0

Tim Gunn, who is well known for his role on Project Runway, met with University President Steven Knapp and GW's fundraising chief recently to discuss a connection to GW.

University President Steven Knapp might not be strutting on the runway any time soon, but he’s trying to make it work with Project Runway star Tim Gunn.

Last month, Knapp and the University’s chief fundraiser met with the fashion connoisseur, who also studied sculpture and taught at the Corcoran School of Art + Design starting in 1978, University spokeswoman Candace Smith said in an email. The meeting was not unprecedented for Knapp, who regularly meets with high-profile alumni and possible donors to discuss partnerships or future donations.

Aristide Collins, the vice president for development and alumni relations, and Knapp gave Gunn updates on what’s been happening in Corcoran School of the Arts and Design programs since GW took it over in 2014, Smith said in an email.

Knapp also told Gunn about Sanjit Sethi, the school’s first director since the merger, at the meeting, Smith said. Sethi was named director of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design in August and stepped into his position in October. He previously served as the director of the Santa Fe Art Institute for two years.

“The school is reaching out to Corcoran alumni to keep them connected and engaged as well as abreast of developments at the school,” Smith said. “Like all schools and units at GW, the Corcoran School is encouraging alumni and others to support students and enhance academics as part of the University’s Making History campaign.”

GW has raised more than $800 million toward its $1 billion fundraising goal. After GW absorbed the Corcoran, the University started trying to access the school’s previous donor base.

Gunn has never publicly donated to GW. But if Gunn did decide to donate, it would not be the first time someone well-known and previously unconnected made a gift to GW. Billionaire philanthropists Michael Milken and Sumner Redstone, neither of whom are alumni, gave a combined $80 million in 2014 which renamed the public health school.

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