Gift Contributes to Establishing Donation from Advertising Firm Ogilvy & Mather

Chicago, IL— The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is pleased to announce a significant contribution to the Justyna Palka Memorial Scholarship Fund, renewed through a generous donation from the family of SAIC alumna Justyna Palka (BFA 2009). The gift contributes to an establishing donation from advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather. Founded in 2011, the merit-based scholarship is awarded to a student in his or her junior year within SAIC’s Department of Visual Communication Design. In addition to financial assistance, the recipient is eligible for an internship at Ogilvy & Mather during the summer preceding senior year. Previous Justyna Palka Memorial Scholars include Chris Pinter (BFA 2013) and Lauren Thompson (BFA 2014). The 2014 recipient will be announced this spring.

“It is a privilege to honor Justyna’s legacy through the internship and to provide an opportunity for creative, hard-working students,” says Karen Smith, Partner and Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy RedWorks. “Ogilvy & Mather is pleased to partner with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to support the professional development of its talented student body.”

Justyna’s family comments, "We send our gratitude to Ogilvy & Mather for creating the Justyna Palka Memorial Scholarship Fund and we thank SAIC for their administration and guidance." Justyna’s mother, Malgorzata Palka, states, "My mission and vision is to honor my daughter’s creativity by demonstrating my appreciation for the education that she received at SAIC and the professional development that Ogilvy & Mather nurtured. I believe that the scholarship fund in Justyna’s name is a tremendous opportunity for creative, energetic, hard-working students, which opens doors that Justyna so passionately worked to open for herself. We look forward to many years of working together with our Ogilvy & Mather and SAIC families."

A gifted artist and graphic designer, Justyna was an art director at Ogilvy & Mather, where she worked on many accounts. Born in Krakow, Poland, and raised in Dortmund, Germany, she moved to Chicago to attend SAIC. She is remembered by friends, family, and the SAIC community as an extremely kind, hardworking, and artistically talented individual. "It didn't matter if it was a small project or a large one, she couldn't do anything halfway," says Karen Smith, her supervisor at Ogilvy & Mather, in an article published by the Chicago Tribune. "She was a young lady who was not easily intimidated or put off in terms of challenges," adds Georgia Bockos, an SAIC faculty member who became a mentor to Palka. "She was a lovely young woman, energetic, creative, giving and open."

The Visual Communication Design department encourages students to actively engage their world and define their role as contributing designers by developing their critical and analytical skills, personal voice, and visual language. The department cultivates a sense of social responsibility and inquiry in student designers who will be working at the intersection of art, design, and mass culture.

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