President’s Letter

January 5, 2017

Dear Cranbrook Friends & Family,

Happy New Year! I hope each of you and your families enjoyed a happy and healthy holiday season and, perhaps, even a visit to Cranbrook! As we ring in the New Year and begin the second half of the academic year, I would like to pause and reflect on the vibrant activity that’s taken place on our campus since I last wrote to you this past fall.

As always, the holiday season offered countless opportunities for guests to experience the richness of our campus. Perhaps you explored one of the five current exhibitions at Cranbrook Art Museum, or maybe visited Santa and enjoyed the tree and train displays at Cranbrook House, or visited the reinstalled bridge in the Japanese Garden which was recently rebuilt by Cranbrook’s facilities staff. Many of you may have also listened to the Beethoven concert hosted by the Center for Collections and Research or discovered the MEGALODON exhibition at the Institute of Science. I hope those of you who were able to visit will give me a call or send a quick note with any feedback you may have regarding our holiday programming.

Over the holidays, Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future aired nationwide on PBS. The documentary offered an in-depth look at the life of Cranbrook’s own Finnish-American architectural giant, Eero Saarinen. The film - a must-see for Cranbrook and architectural enthusiasts - features many familiar sites, as some of the film was shot at Cranbrook. Archival film footage and vintage photographs were provided by Cranbrook’s Center for Collections and Research, which also hosted the world premiere of the film in early September. To learn more about Eero Saarinen and the Saarinen Legacy, I recommend taking a Collections Wing Tour (free for ArtMembers!) on an upcoming Saturday. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office directly if you need assistance booking your tour. 

An especially exciting piece of news is that Cranbrook is the first school in the Midwest and the third in the nation to form an educational collaboration with the Edgerton Center at MIT. In keeping with Cranbrook’s core values of collaboration and innovation, this new relationship will empower Cranbrook faculty to accelerate design thinking in both curriculum and our approach to teaching. In return, Cranbrook Schools will be designated a testing site for MIT with the potential to change the way K-12 curriculum is developed and delivered. Discoveries from the Cranbrook Schools-MIT collaboration will be shared nationally with the broader educational community in order to offer students everywhere more innovative and dynamic opportunities for learning, both now and in the future. 

Cranbrook Schools’ winter 2017 Open House is taking place on Sunday, January 8 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. The event is open to all families with children considering pre-kindergarten through high school. During your visit, you and your family will be able to meet some of our world-class teachers, get an up-close look at our facilities, and speak with members of our admission team. We know you will begin to understand why a Cranbrook education truly offers opportunity you will find nowhere else – opportunity that lasts a lifetime. If you have any questions, please call us at 248.645.3610.

If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you to visit the current exhibitions at the Cranbrook Art Museum, including: From the Vault: Recent Gifts to the Collection, Cranbrook Time Machine Twentieth-Century Period Rooms, and The Truth is I Hear You: A Project by the Cause Collective. From the Vault draws on the Museum’s permanent collection with a focus on a sampling of recent gifts to the Museum. To all of you who have donated to Cranbrook’s many collections or who support the Museum through annual giving, please accept the most sincere thanks of our entire Community and those we serve.

I am pleased to share that the Cranbrook Academy of Art has named a new interim Architect-in-Residence and Head of the Architecture Department, Ceren Bingol. Her tenure begins on January 6 and will continue through the academic year. She will then stay on for the entire 2017-18 academic year. While here, Ceren will be collaborating with our new visiting Architect-in-Resident, Dan Kinkead, AIA, Principal, at SmithGroupJJR, during the spring 2017 semester. I hope you will join me in giving them a warm, Cranbrook welcome.

At the Institute of Science, one of the most exciting exhibitions in years will be unveiled in early February in the form of TUTANKHAMUN: “Wonderful Things” from the Pharaoh’s Tomb. Featuring meticulously created replicas of King Tut’s sacred and personal artifacts, as well as original artifacts from the period surrounding his reign, this exhibition is sure to intrigue and fascinate guests of all ages and is one you won’t want to miss!

For something new, our Community’s crown jewel, Cranbrook House, will be open for tours and lunch beginning later this month, a first for this landmark home in the winter months. Plus, for those dreaming of tropical settings on these cold, snowy days, stop by the Cranbrook Conservatory Greenhouse to explore a green oasis and shop their winter sale in February.  

All of you are connected to Cranbrook in some way and I hope you will join me on February 28 at the Cranbrook Institute of Science to learn about Cranbrook’s Legacy Society, a group of Cranbrook alums, parents and friends who have included Cranbrook in their estate planning.  Just as the Booth Family legacy supports all that Cranbrook is today, we remain committed to ensuring that our special Community and all it offers continues to be strong for future generations and beyond. Please accept my invitation to join me in the Institute of Science auditorium on February 28 at 5:00 pm. to recognize our Legacy Society and learn more about how all of the Program Areas of Cranbrook are continuing a legacy of innovation and creativity.  You are also welcome to enjoy a tour of the King Tut exhibition after my presentation.

The holidays remind us that “Community” is part of our official name. I encourage each of you and your families to get to know Cranbrook’s many program areas and its people. Whether you are a Schools’ alum or parent, an Institute or Art Museum Member or are connected with the House and Gardens or Center for Collections and Research, please know how much we appreciate you and all that you do for Cranbrook! Our Community is singular in its core mission and I hope you will join me in New Year’s thanks to our faculty, staff, volunteers and all that make Cranbrook so special each day. I am hopeful, too, that each of you will take time to experience each of our program areas through our many offerings, spaces and people. 

Be sure to follow us on social media and keep an eye out in your inbox for our monthly E-Newsletter, This Month at Cranbrook, to learn more about the many things to do at Cranbrook this winter and throughout the coming year. As always, please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help ensure an enjoyable visit.

Finally, let me start the New Year by saying what a privilege it is to be the President of such an extraordinary institution. As the parent of a graduate, I’ve had the chance to see first hand all that Cranbrook has to offer. As we collectively strive to preserve and extend Cranbrook’s legacy for generations to come, please know how much I value your friendship, support and all that you do to help this special place become even stronger and more impactful than ever. 

Very best wishes to you and yours in the New Year!

Sincerely,

Dominic A. DiMarco, President
Cranbrook Educational Community
248 645.3100
ddimarco@cranbrook.edu


January 2017
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