Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles received a significant donation from model and KORA Organics CEO Miranda Kerr and Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel through the couple's Spiegel Family Fund. The donation will allow for the repayment of the outstanding student debt of students in the graduating Class of 2022 who were surprised with the news at a commencement ceremony on Sunday. It is the largest single gift in the history of the college, reads a statement from Otis, "and will reduce student debt for emerging artists and designers and their families."
Otis College is one of the most diverse colleges in the U.S., with 77% of the student body identifying as students of color; over 90% receive financial aid; and upon graduation, over 90% find employment in the creative economy.
“Otis is incredibly grateful for this historic gift from Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel, which will be life-changing for the Class of 2022 and their families,” said Charles Hirschhorn, President of Otis College of Art and Design. “Student debt weighs heavily on our diverse and talented graduates. We hope this donation will provide much-deserved relief and empower them to pursue their aspirations and careers, pay this generosity forward, and become the next leaders of our community.”
“Otis College of Art and Design is an extraordinary institution that encourages young creatives to find their artistic voices and thrive in a variety of industries and careers,” said Spiegel and Kerr, founders of the Spiegel Family Fund. “It is a privilege for our family to give back and support the Class of 2022, and we hope this gift will empower graduates to pursue their passions, contribute to the world, and inspire humanity for years to come.”
The donation was announced to cheering students at Otis College’s 2022 Commencement, which featured three honorary degree recipients, including Spiegel, who took classes at Otis College as a high school student prior to enrolling at Stanford University; Kerr; and Bobby Berk, design expert and Emmy-nominated TV host of Queer Eye.
Following the ceremony, graduating students received a letter outlining how this generous gift will help them pay back their educational loans.
Since 1919, Otis College has educated a diverse student body in established and emerging creative sectors, including Communication Arts, Digital Media, Environmental Design, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Product Design, and Toy Design.