The College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University in New York has announced the establishment of a new scholarship fund in memory of a faculty member who dedicated himself to teaching excellence and developing successful theater artists and designers.
The Felix E. Cochren Jr. Memorial Scholarship intends to promote a more diverse student body in the drama department by providing scholarship and financial assistance to current students who are underrepresented in the program. Dr. Cochren was a beloved associate professor of theater design and technology in the department from 2002 to 2019, when he passed away at age 68.
“Diversity and inclusion in the student population is a cornerstone value not only within the drama department but throughout the greater Syracuse University community as a whole,” says Ricky Pak, an assistant professor of acting. “However, a unique challenge for drama is that if we do not have a diverse population of students, it directly impacts our day-to-day curriculum. We lose the ability to tell stories that are not traditionally told to the rest of the greater Syracuse community because we don’t have the appropriate student population from which to cast. The University has a richly diverse history that traces all the way back to its founding — a history that our project seeks to highlight while also creating opportunities for underrepresented students to be able to tell those stories on our stages one day.”
The fund, which will begin awarding scholarships to students in Fall 2021, was established with a gift from the Gerald & Daphna Cramer Foundation.