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Swift Fund Grants Announced

March 20, 2012

The inaugural group of Westphal Seniors to receive up to $500 in funding toward their senior thesis projects thanks to the Robert and Roberta Swift (1927) Memorial Fund has been announced. The Swift Memorial fund was established in late 2011 to support ambitious senior projects with extraordinary expenses or ambition.

Joshua Lessard of architecture, in a multidisciplinary effort with the department of Biology, is exploring large-scale sustainable buildings with bioengineered concrete. Fellow architecture student, Howard Jeffers’, thesis explores Extend Community Retreats, natural settings where everyday people can relax and discuss important topics facing the modern world.

Film & Video students Laurel Chadwick and Kristina Massie are jointly working on their film Speakeasy, an ambitious and historically accurate piece that tells the stories of the 1920's from the perspectives of their family members that lived during the era. Philadelphia Local Music Day is Music Industry student Monika Julien's project that works with the advocacygroup Love Local Music to create a one day event focused on local music, community and collaboration.

Graphic Design's Randi Dean is working with retailer, Stop and Shop/Giant, creating cost efficientfood options for special diets such as gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-freeproducts. This project helps raise social awareness of the lack of affordable options for the sufferers of food allergies. Finally, the projects of Fashion Design students Cassandra Milani and Erica Meyer were each supported. Cassandra's collection, inspired by Samuri warriors, is designed for the urban women with natural fabrics in a sustainable manner. Erica was inspired by Jerry Spinelli’s book Stargirl. Her collection uses natural colors and textures to mirror the moments between sleep and wake.

Be sure not miss ourannual senior shows in late May and June where you can see the outcomes of our hardworking students.

Robert Swift met Roberta Dare while attending the Drexel Institute. Robert was a student in the College of Engineering, Roberta received a DC or a certificate from the College of Home Economics (which is now the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design). They most likely met while serving at the Drexerd, then Drexel’s literary magazine, where Robert served as Business Manager and later as Editor-in-Chief while Roberta was a staff writer. After graduation, Mr. Swift went to work as an engineer for Bell Telephone, which later became AT&T.