The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts prepares future artists, architects, and designers to address critical social and environmental challenges through their work. Noted for its collaborative and interdisciplinary efforts, the school has distinguished itself through creative research, practice, teaching, and outreach that strengthen diverse communities around the world.
Washington University Trustee Ralph Nagel, BArch ’67, MArch, ’69, and his wife, Trish Nagel, JD ’74, are dedicated to furthering the school’s objectives. Longtime supporters of scholarships and facilities at the university, the Nagels have made a $5 million commitment to establish and endow the deanship at the Sam Fox School. The gift demonstrates their confidence in the school’s mission and provides significant resources for the dean to advance important strategic goals and address urgent needs.
“It’s all about empowering the school to move beyond its current boundaries in inspiring the next generation of leaders to take creative risks,” says Mr. Nagel, who has become an established painter and investor following a successful career as an architect, developer, business leader, and entrepreneur. “The Sam Fox School has the legacy, scale, and depth to support this critical need in society.”
Enabling students and faculty to innovate is key—and it starts at the top, says Mrs. Nagel, an accomplished attorney. “The reason for endowing this deanship is simple: to provide the dean with a foundational platform from which to seed new ideas and advance them to successful implementation.”
The deanship will fuel growth across all disciplines at the Sam Fox School, sustaining current projects and programs while providing funds for new endeavors.
“Ralph and Trish have been strong supporters and wonderful friends,” says Carmon Colangelo, dean of the Sam Fox School and E. Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts. “Ralph has been a special mentor, always provoking and encouraging us to be even more ambitious, more innovative, more daring, and more courageous. The Nagels’ amazing generosity will enable us to build on critical programs, and fund creative research by our faculty and travel for our students. The gift also will strengthen technological resources and cutting-edge initiatives.”
The Nagels are co-chairs of the Denver Regional Cabinet. They also serve on university national councils, Mrs. Nagel at the School of Medicine and Mr. Nagel at the Sam Fox School. The school recently awarded him the Dean’s Medal in recognition of his outstanding service.
“Ralph and Trish Nagel already have made significant contributions to the university as exceptional leaders and through generous support for the Sam Fox School and the School of Law,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton says. “Now, by establishing and endowing the Ralph J. Nagel Deanship, the Nagels are ensuring strong, visionary leadership at the Sam Fox School for as long as the university endures.”