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Bellevue College Interior Design Program gets $200,000 Gift

The gift is one of the 10 largest donations to the college foundation in the past decade.

's Interior Design program -- one of the college's two bachelor degree programs and the region's only interior design program at a public college -- can chalk up another milestone: one of the largest gifts to the college foundation.

The family of former instructor and program chair Doris Katz gave $200,000 to the Bellevue College Foundation this week, which is one of the 10 largest cash donations it has received in the past decade, according to Bellevue College.

The gift will connect students with interior design firms and practitioners in the region, which will allow students to gain professional experience and contacts, according to the press release.

The professional engagement program will include master workshops, visits from acclaimed interior design professionals, trips to working studios in the region, design internships and more, according to the press release.

“This wonderful gift will allow us to continue building on the success of the college’s Interior Design program, which is already recognized as one of the premier programs in the region,” said Vice President of Instruction Tom Nielsen, who was hired by Katz in 1982 as an adjunct drafting instructor in a prepared statement. “It’s a fitting tribute to Doris, who did so much to build the foundation for the program it has become today.”

Katz, who died in 1991, was at Bellevue College for seven years in the 1980s, and she developed the program from a few design classes to a nationally accredited degree program. She was also a longtime resident of Mercer Island.

“Doris early on recognized how important it was for students to engage with people already in the field. This donation will make it possible to provide our students with a well-rounded and more hands-on educational experience, so they’ll be much better prepared when it’s time to look for jobs,” Program Chair Michael Culpepper said in a prepared statement.

About 500 students each year participate in the college's Interior Design program, which offers certificates, associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees.

-- Information from

Christopher December 03, 2012 at 03:36 AM
It is fantastic to see the interior design industry receiving such recognition. It certainly requires specific skills and talent to carry out the best interior design, so it is only justified that there is a bachelor degree programme for all aspiring interior designers. Hopefully this will open doors to more colleges to recognise the importance of interior design and to aspire to develop this growing industry. Not to mention too that high-end interior designers can be wealthy over the years depending on their clientale. So by investing in the future of interior designers, the colleges can financially reap the rewards in the future. - http://www.stoett.com

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