Roderick MacKillop Memorial Endowments Established

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

UNC Charlotte is pleased to announce that the family of Roderick MacKillop, a former professor in the Department of Art & Art History, has established three endowments at the University in his memory. The endowment funds will support student scholarships and a bi-annual exhibition of alumni work in the Department of Art & Art History, where MacKillop was a painting professor from 1973 until his retirement in 2003.  

In 1988, MacKillop initiated a juried art exhibition of alumni work at the University, a practice that has continued biannually in the galleries of Rowe Arts building. The Roderick MacKillop Memorial Alumni Art Exhibition Endowment will underwrite honoraria for participating alumni. Two scholarship endowments, the Roderick MacKillop Memorial Art Merit Scholarship and the Roderick MacKillop Memorial Painting Merit Scholarship, will provide financial awards to two exceptional junior or senior art majors each year.

“As a colleague of Rod MacKillop for more than 20 years, I am especially pleased to celebrate the MacKillop family’s most generous contribution to the Department of Art & Art History,” said Eldred Hudson, chair of the department. “Remembering Rod as a dedicated and humble educator and a prolific painter, I am certain he would be proud to be honored by this gift that will assist and inspire current students and alumni. On behalf of the entire department, I express profound appreciation for this support and for the opportunity to facilitate the keeping of Rod’s legacy for years to come.”

The endowments were initiated by Carrie MacKillop Stein, sister of Rod MacKillop, and her husband Arthur Stein, along with their three children and their spouses: Ben Stein and Nicole Gumpel, Julie Stein and Howard Wolosky, and Shana Stein and Mat Rappaport. Microsoft Corporation also contributed to the fund through a matching gift program.

"My husband and my children and I all wanted to honor Rod,” said Stein. “His sense of humor and ability to always be supportive were remarkable to all of us. He gave so much to the University, and the University gave so much to him. He loved teaching. He liked to tell the story of a time when he was working with a student, and they were having trouble getting the printmaking equipment to operate properly. The student said, 'Why don't we try it this way?' The suggestion worked, and Rod said, 'Why didn't I think of that?' The student replied, 'Because you're a teacher, sir.' Rod always loved that."

Rod MacKillop was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1940. His paintings and sculptures have been exhibited across the United States in solo and group exhibitions, and his work is included in the permanent collections of the American Express Corporation, the Mint Museum of Art, Duke University, and the Asheville Art Museum, among others.

“When Rod joined the UNC Charlotte faculty in 1973, our friendship was immediate and lasted for over 40 years,” said Emeritus Professor of Art Eric Anderson. “My greatest appreciation for my dear and close friend was his ability to instinctively transform his daily life's experiences, creating autobiographical paintings that measured his moment of feeling, while at the same time creating a mirror for the viewers to see themselves embodied in the figure(s) within his images.”

The Department of Art & Art History will present an exhibition of MacKillop’s work at the Projective Eye Gallery at UNC Charlotte Center City in March 2018. All proceeds from sales of the work will benefit the MacKillop endowments. That same month, the Department will present the 2018 Roderick MacKillop Memorial Alumni Art Exhibition in Rowe Galleries, in conjunction with the 10th-anniversary celebration of the founding of the UNC Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture.