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- by  New College Foundation
The word “curious” stands out for Jack and Priscilla Schlegel, avid supporters of New College of Florida.

Jack is a New College Foundation board member and expert on board governance. “We are intellectually curious people. New College students are that way, the professors are that way, and the board is that way,” Jack says. The couple have been avid supporters of the college since they began attending New Topics lectures five years ago.

Jack started out in academia, teaching at his alma mater, the University of Southern California in the school of pharmacy, eventually transitioning into non-profit management and strategic planning. Priscilla had a robust career with the RAND corporation. They moved to Sarasota after retirement in 2000 and both have a passion for education. Jack explains, “We feel passionate about what New College stands for, in terms of its vision and the development of its students.” Priscilla chimes in, “we understand the importance of education and how hard the college works to raise scholarship money.  We want to give money where it impacts students.”

The Schlegels co-chaired the 2021 New College Clambake which raised more than $530,000, the most successful event in its 42-year history. They are also big supporters of the arts in our region: Sarasota Orchestra, Florida Studio Theatre, West Coast Black Theatre, Urbanite Theatre, Manatee Performing Arts Center, Asolo Repertory Theatre and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory. They often attend shows four or five times per week.

The couple believes the Sarasota-Manatee region should be known not only for its arts reputation but also for being a center of education. Jack contends, “The Cross College Alliance, started by former President, Dr. Donal O’Shea, is a step in the right direction. This area really is a tremendous resource for good quality education.”

Referring to New College, Jack believes it is an extraordinary place. “It’s world famous for the transformative nature of its graduates. It is such a fundamental asset to making Sarasota great!” Priscilla expands on that thought, saying “it’s also an asset to the future of our country which needs more bright, well-educated, curious people.”

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