WILKES-BARRE — The graduate creative writing program at Wilkes University has a new name courtesy of a Dallas businessman.
The school renamed it the Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing during a ceremony attended by dozens of faculty and students in the Henry Student Center on Friday.
Richard Maslow, former CEO of InterMetro of Wilkes-Barre, donated a “significant gift,” said Dr. Patrick Leahy, president of the university. The total donation was not disclosed due to the donor’s request.
“He could have supported all kinds of things,” Leahy said. “This investment continues his lifelong commitment to the arts and reflects his enthusiasm for a program that has generated incredible student success.”
The creative writing program grants Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees. Over 10 years, it has graduated 500 students from 35 states and several foreign countries.
Maslow’s daughter, Melanie Maslow-Kern, was at the ceremony to unveil the naming honor.
“I don’t know if I’m more proud of the university … or my family,” said Maslow-Kern, also a trustee for Wilkes.
“We support the ability to be eloquent on the page,” Maslow-Kern added.
Leahy said the endowment will allow Dr. Bonnie Culver, program director, the flexibility to grow Wilkes’ creative writing offerings.
“With their dedication to the arts, represented in this generous gift, we can open up more opportunities for students to hone their craft, provide resources for faculty passion projects, and continue our mission of becoming one of the best creative writing programs in the country,” Culver said.
Culver also took time to compliment Leahy for keeping the “A in STEAM.” STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math.
“A lot of people have given up on the arts … (with the donation) now they have a voice,” explained Culver.
The Maslow family financially supports the Maslow Foundation Salon Reading Series at Wilkes, held twice a year to coincide with the creative writing program’s biannual campus residency. The family also supports the Frances and Louise Maslow Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually to worthy students majoring in engineering or business administration.