Special Forces: Sisters memorialize father’s legacy with Public Programs scholarship

The scholarship allows Art Center at Night to provide financial support to adult students.

When Nancy Player Legler suggested to her three sisters that they join forces to endow a scholarship at Art Center, her idea was met with immediate enthusiasm. “We all agreed that this was a way to make a real difference in people’s lives and honor the memory of our parents,” she says.

Established in 2012, the Ross Dimond Player and Madelyn Maberly Player Endowed Memorial Scholarship provides financial support for adult students enrolled in the College’s Public Programs, with a preference for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.

According to Dana L. Walker, Managing Director, Public Programs, and Director, Art Center at Night, “Thanks to the Player family’s generosity, Art Center at Night will be better able to assist recent vets who want to take our continuing studies classes–especially those who are seeking to build their portfolios for admissions to Art Center’s full-time degree programs.”

Legler says creating opportunities for veterans was an important way to pay tribute to their father, Ross INDU 49, who served in the Marine Corps during World War II and attended Art Center on the G.I. Bill. “Had it not been for the assistance he received, our father could never have afforded to go to college or pursue a design career,” she says. “When he returned from the Pacific to his hometown of Rupert, Idaho, he most likely would have had to go to work in the nearby sugar factory that had employed his father. Art Center gave him a leg up.”

After graduation Player went on to work as a graphic designer in Salt Lake City, Utah, for 40 years. There he and his wife, Madelyn, raised Legler and her sisters, Marguerite, Maureen and Sally.

From an early age, the girls’ parents imparted to them an appreciation of design. Legler remembers their father, who often moonlighted for extra money, bent over a drafting table until late at night, sometimes with a sleepy girl at his elbow.

“We learned perspective, aesthetics and all things visual at the knee of the best,” Legler says. “In our house, everything from making clothes to refurbishing old furniture was done to perfection, carefully and slowly, with the expectation that if you were going to do something, you did it well and with an aesthetic eye.”

Legler describes herself as the grateful beneficiary of a “fine, quiet and consistent life,” adding, “I believe my father’s Art Center education and the career it gave him saved him emotionally after the war. My hope is that supporting a veteran coming home today may allow him or her to recreate a life as well.”

To learn more about how to create a memorial scholarship at Art Center, contact Maya Fredrickson

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